Pattern transformation of heat-shrinkable polymer by three-dimensional (3D) printing technique.
ABSTRACT: A significant challenge in conventional heat-shrinkable polymers is to produce controllable microstructures. Here we report that the polymer material fabricated by three-dimensional (3D) printing technique has a heat-shrinkable property, whose initial microstructure can undergo a spontaneous pattern transformation under heating. The underlying mechanism is revealed by evaluating internal strain of the printed polymer from its fabricating process. It is shown that a uniform internal strain is stored in the polymer during the printing process and can be released when heated above its glass transition temperature. Furthermore, the internal strain can be used to trigger the pattern transformation of the heat-shrinkable polymer in a controllable way. Our work provides insightful ideas to understand a novel mechanism on the heat-shrinkable effect of printed material, but also to present a simple approach to fabricate heat-shrinkable polymer with a controllable thermo-structural response.
Project description:Recent research using 3D printing to create active structures has added an exciting new dimension to 3D printing technology. After being printed, these active, often composite, materials can change their shape over time; this has been termed as 4D printing. In this paper, we demonstrate the design and manufacture of active composites that can take multiple shapes, depending on the environmental temperature. This is achieved by 3D printing layered composite structures with multiple families of shape memory polymer (SMP) fibers - digital SMPs - with different glass transition temperatures (Tg) to control the transformation of the structure. After a simple single-step thermomechanical programming process, the fiber families can be sequentially activated to bend when the temperature is increased. By tuning the volume fraction of the fibers, bending deformation can be controlled. We develop a theoretical model to predict the deformation behavior for better understanding the phenomena and aiding the design. We also design and print several flat 2D structures that can be programmed to fold and open themselves when subjected to heat. With the advantages of an easy fabrication process and the controllable multi-shape memory effect, the printed SMP composites have a great potential in 4D printing applications.
Project description:Complex fabrication process and expensive materials have restricted the development of smart three-dimensional (3D) lightweight structures, which are expected to possess self-shaping, self-folding and self-unfolding performances. Here we present a simple approach to fabricate smart lightweight structures by triggering shape transformation from thin printed composite sheets. The release of the internal strain in printed polymer materials enables the printed composite sheet to keep flat under heating and transform into a designed 3D configuration when cooled down to room temperature. The 3D lightweight structure can be switched between flat and 3D configuration under appropriate thermal stimuli. Our work exploits uniform internal strain in printed materials as a controllable tool to fabricate smart 3D lightweight structures, opening an avenue for possible applications in engineering fields.
Project description:We demonstrate the ability to fabricate dosage forms of a poorly water-soluble drug by using wet stirred media milling of a drug powder to produce an aqueous suspension of nanoparticles and then print it onto a porous biocompatible film. Contrary to conventional printing technologies, a deposited material is pulled out from the nozzle. This feature enables printing highly viscous materials with a precise control over the printed volume. Drug (griseofulvin) nanosuspensions prepared by wet media milling were printed onto porous hydroxypropyl methylcellulose films prepared by freeze-drying. The drug particles retained crystallinity and polymorphic form in the course of milling and printing. The versatility of this technique was demonstrated by printing the same amount of nanoparticles onto a film with droplets of different sizes. The mean drug content (0.19-3.80 mg) in the printed films was predicted by the number of droplets (5-100) and droplet volume (0.2-1.0 µL) (R2 = 0.9994, p-value < 10-4). Our results also suggest that for any targeted drug content, the number-volume of droplets could be modulated to achieve acceptable drug content uniformity. Analysis of the model-independent difference and similarity factors showed consistency of drug release profiles from films with a printed suspension. Zero-order kinetics described the griseofulvin release rate from 1.8% up to 82%. Overall, this study has successfully demonstrated that the electro-hydrodynamic drop-on-demand printing of an aqueous drug nanosuspension enables accurate and controllable drug dosing in porous polymer films, which exhibited acceptable content uniformity and reproducible drug release.
Project description:The utilization of polymer-based materials is quickly expanding. The enterprises of today are progressively seeking techniques to supplant metal parts with polymer-based materials as a result of their light weight, simple support and modest costs. The ceaselessly developing requirement for composite materials with new or enhanced properties brings about the preparation of different polymer mixes with various arrangements, morphologies and properties. Fused filament fabrication processes such as 3D-printing are nowadays shaping the actual pathway to a full pallet of materials, from art-craft to biomaterials. In this study, the structural and mechanical behavior of three types of commercially available filaments comprised of synthetic poly(acrylonitrile-co-butadiene-co-styrene) (ABS), poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(lactic acid)/polyhydroxyalkanoate reinforced with bamboo wood flour composite (PLA/PHA BambooFill) were assessed through mechanical testing and optical microscopy, aiming to understand how the modifications that occur in the printed models with internal architecture are influencing the mechanical properties of the 3D-printed material. It has been determined that the material printed from PLA presents the highest compression strength, three-point bending and shock resistance, while the ABS shows the best tensile strength performance. A probability plot was used to verify the normality hypothesis of data for the tensile strength, in conjunction with the Anderson-Darling statistic test. The results of the statistic indicated that the data were normally distributed and that there is a marked influence of the internal architecture of the 3D-printed models on the mechanical properties of the printed material.
Project description:Although direct deposition of polymeric materials onto textiles through 3D printing is a great technique used more and more to develop smart textiles, one of the main challenges is to demonstrate equal or better mechanical resistance, durability and comfort than those of the textile substrates before deposition process. This article focuses on studying the impact of the textile properties and printing platform temperature on the tensile and deformations of non-conductive and conductive poly lactic acid (PLA) filaments deposited onto polyethylene terephthalate (PET) textiles through 3D printing process and optimizing them using theoretical and statistical models. The results demonstrate that the deposition process affects the tensile properties of the printed textile in comparison with the ones of the textiles. The stress and strain at rupture of the first 3D printed PLA layer deposited onto PET textile material reveal to be a combination of those of the printed layer and the PET fabric due to the lower flexibility and diffusion of the polymeric printed track through the textile fabric leading to a weak adhesion at the polymer/textile interface. Besides, printing platform temperature and textile properties influence the tensile and deformation properties of the 3D printed PLA on PET textile significantly. Both, the washing process and the incorporation of conductive fillers into the PLA do not affect the tensile properties of the extruded polymeric materials. The elastic, total and permanent deformations of the 3D-printed PLA on PET fabrics are lower than the ones of the fabric before polymer deposition which demonstrates a better dimensional stability, higher stiffness and lower flexibility of these materials.
Project description:The use of self-healing (SH) polymers to make 3D-printed polymeric parts offers the potential to increase the quality of 3D-printed parts and to increase their durability and damage tolerance due to their (on-demand) dynamic nature. Nevertheless, 3D-printing of such dynamic polymers is not a straightforward process due to their polymer architecture and rheological complexity and the limited quantities produced at lab-scale. This limits the exploration of the full potential of self-healing polymers. In this paper, we present the complete process for fused deposition modelling of a room temperature self-healing polyurethane. Starting from the synthesis and polymer slab manufacturing, we processed the polymer into a continuous filament and 3D printed parts. For the characterization of the 3D printed parts, we used a compression cut test, which proved useful when limited amount of material is available. The test was able to quasi-quantitatively assess both bulk and 3D printed samples and their self-healing behavior. The mechanical and healing behavior of the 3D printed self-healing polyurethane was highly similar to that of the bulk SH polymer. This indicates that the self-healing property of the polymer was retained even after multiple processing steps and printing. Compared to a commercial 3D-printing thermoplastic polyurethane, the self-healing polymer displayed a smaller mechanical dependency on the printing conditions with the added value of healing cuts at room temperature.
Project description:The convergence of 3D printing techniques and nanomaterials is generating a compelling opportunity space to create advanced materials with multiscale structural control and hierarchical functionalities. While most nanoparticles consist of a dense material, less attention has been payed to 3D printing of nanoparticles with intrinsic porosity. Here, we combine ultrasmall (about 10?nm) silica nanocages with digital light processing technique for the direct 3D printing of hierarchically porous parts with arbitrary shapes, as well as tunable internal structures and high surface area. Thanks to the versatile and orthogonal cage surface modifications, we show how this approach can be applied for the implementation and positioning of functionalities throughout 3D printed objects. Furthermore, taking advantage of the internal porosity of the printed parts, an internal printing approach is proposed for the localized deposition of a guest material within a host matrix, enabling complex 3D material designs.
Project description:Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is one of the fastest-growing additive manufacturing methods used in printing fibre-reinforced composites (FRC). The performances of the resulting printed parts are limited compared to those by other manufacturing methods due to their inherent defects. Hence, the effort to develop treatment methods to overcome these drawbacks has accelerated during the past few years. The main focus of this study is to review the impact of those defects on the mechanical performance of FRC and therefore to discuss the available treatment methods to eliminate or minimize them in order to enhance the functional properties of the printed parts. As FRC is a combination of polymer matrix material and continuous or short reinforcing fibres, this review will thoroughly discuss both thermoplastic polymers and FRCs printed via FDM technology, including the effect of printing parameters such as layer thickness, infill pattern, raster angle and fibre orientation. The most common defects on printed parts, in particular, the void formation, surface roughness and poor bonding between fibre and matrix, are explored. An inclusive discussion on the effectiveness of chemical, laser, heat and ultrasound treatments to minimize these drawbacks is provided by this review.
Project description:With the ability to create customizable products tailored to individual patients, the use of 3D printed medical devices has rapidly increased in recent years. Despite such interest in these materials, a risk assessment based on the material characterization of final device extracts-as per regulatory guidance-has not yet been completed, even though the printing process may potentially impact the leachability of polymer components. To further our understanding of the chemical impact of 3D printed medical devices, this study investigated the extractable profiles of four different materials, including a PLA polymer advertised as "FDA-approved". The fusion deposition modeling (FDM) printing process created distinct chemical and physical signatures in the extracts of certain materials. The application of an annealing procedure to printed devices led to a substantial decrease in extractable components by as much as a factor of 50. In addition, the use of a brass printing nozzle led to an increase in the amount of Pb detected in 3D printed device extracts. The data generated provides valuable information that can be used to help assess extractable risks of 3D printed medical devices, assist with future 3D printing designs, and may provide insight for agencies tasked with governing 3D printed medical device regulations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The use of 3D printing of hydrogels as a cell support in bio-printing of cartilage, organs and tissue has attracted much research interest. For cartilage applications, hydrogels as soft materials must show some degree of rigidity, which can be achieved by photo- or chemical polymerization. In this work, we combined chemical and UV laser polymeric cross-linkage to control the mechanical properties of 3D printed hydrogel blends. Since there are few studies on UV laser cross-linking combined with 3D printing of hydrogels, the work here reported offered many challenges. METHODS:Polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA), sodium alginate (SA) and calcium sulphate (CaSO4) polymer paste containing riboflavin (vitamin B2) and triethanolamine (TEOHA) as a biocompatible photoinitiator was printed in an extrusion 3D plotter using a coupled UV laser. The influence of the laser power on the mechanical properties of the printed samples was then examined in unconfined compression stress-strain tests of 1?×?1?×?1?cm3 sized samples. To evaluate the adhesion of the material between printed layers, compression measurements were performed along the parallel and perpendicular directions to the printing lines. RESULTS:At a laser density of 70?mW/cm2, Young's modulus was approximately 6?MPa up to a maximum compression of 20% in the elastic regime for both the parallel and perpendicular measurements. These values were within the range of biological cartilage values. Cytotoxicity tests performed with Vero cells confirmed the cytocompatibility. CONCLUSIONS:We printed a partial tracheal model using optimized printing conditions and proved that the materials and methods developed may be useful for printing of organ models to support surgery or even to produce customized tracheal implants, after further optimization.