New 3D Printing Technique Promises Greater Complexity, Durability

Rotational 3D printing is a new technique of 3D printing that could enhance the ability of 3D printing to produce more intricate, more complete products.  The technique mimics nature in building hierarchical structures.

Rotational 3D Printing Yields High-Performance Composites

….a team of researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has demonstrated a novel 3D printing method that yields unprecedented control of the arrangement of short fibers embedded in polymer matrices. They used this additive manufacturing technique to program fiber orientation within epoxy composites in specified locations, enabling the creation of structural materials that are optimized for strength, stiffness, and damage tolerance.

Their method, referred to as “rotational 3D printing,” could have broad ranging applications. Given the modular nature of their ink designs, many different filler and matrix combinations can be implemented to tailor electrical, optical, or thermal properties of the printed objects.

“Being able to locally control fiber orientation within engineered composites has been a grand challenge,” said the study’s senior author and SEAS engineering professor, Jennifer A. Lewis. “We can now pattern materials in a hierarchical manner, akin to the way that nature builds.”


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