Navy-spec Filament Produces Stronger 3D Printed Objects

The US army isn’t any stranger to 3D printing, having supported and developed a plethora of AM breakthroughs. Although they definitely work with metallic 3D printing, officers just like the accessibility and readiness of conventional filament deposition 3D printers that may be simply moved round within the discipline. FDM printers aren’t recognized for making the strongest of components, although, and if anybody wants robust components it’s the army. Luckily, they’re an ingenious bunch.

Dr. Eric D. Wetzel of the Military’s Rising Composites crew led the venture to create a stronger filament. The crew fabricate a billet of fabric comprising ABS, with a star‐formed PC (polycarbonate) core. That column is then put right into a machine referred to as a thermal draw tower that heats one finish and attracts it out into a skinny filament that’s cooled and spooled for later use on any FDM 3D printer. The brand new filament consists of ABS and PC so the DM (dual-material) components are annealed after printing to utterly fuse the 2 supplies, maximizing the energy and warmth deflection temperature.

ABS PC filament blendABS PC filament blend

Credit score: US Military

Checks revealed that the DM components have ductility that’s much like injection molded ABS components and have fracture toughness values 15 occasions increased than comparable printed ABS components. And there’s little shrinkage or warping that happens in the course of the annealing course of as a result of the “PC skeleton of specimens fabricated utilizing the DM filament resists creep and polymer leisure to take care of correct half geometry throughout annealing.”

The engineers tried eight totally different shapes for the PC core, together with a circle and totally different numbers of spokes however the asterisk form exhibited one of the best mechanical properties. With extra analysis from 3D printing and supplies firms that the Military is requesting, this might result in considerably stronger components for everybody with an FDM printer. Within the paper printed within the journal Superior Engineering Supplies, the authors use no unsure phrases, “This novel DM filament can revolutionize additive manufacturing permitting low‐value printers to supply components with mechanical properties aggressive with injection‐molded plastics.”

Supply: US Military Analysis Laboratory

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