While metal 3D printing has been skyrocketing in terms of popularity, market share, and high-demand applications for the past year, and will certainly continue to do so, 3D printing with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) offers unique properties that are increasingly sought out in the aerospace, military, motorsports, robotics, automobile, and energy sectors. Namely, carbon fiber composites, which are made of extremely thin carbon fibers measuring about 5-10 microns in diameter, have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than almost any other manufacturing material. Imagine a conductive 3D printed part that is stronger than steel yet as light as plastic, and with a beautifully smooth surface finish: that’s carbon fiber 3D printing for you.
The magnetic filament is available in 1.75 mm diameter, in 350-gram quantities for $39.99. The color is flat black, giving printed objects a cast iron appearance. Because of the iron content, the filament is more brittle and abrasive than standard PLA, so expect some increased wear on your nozzle; Graphene 3D Labs suggests doing a first level adjustment and using a larger or wear-resistant nozzle for longer prints. Unlike other iron products, however, it’s unlikely to rust.
An asteroid-mining company is giving the world a glimpse at its vision of the future.
Planetary Resources, which aims to extract water and other useful materials from asteroids, has 3D-printed an object using metal powder gleaned from a space rock. Continue reading Asteroid-Mining Company 3D-Prints Object from Space Rock Metals
Smartphone-based 3D printer uses LCD light to cure resin
Many of the 3D printers out on the market today need light to help the resin used for printing objects to cure. A group of researchers in Taiwan have created a smartphone-based 3D printer that some think has the chance of revolutionizing the 3D printing market.
The smartphone-based 3D printer is reportedly far along in the development process and was built with students from the lab of Professor Jeng Ywam-Jeng, a professor of mechanical engineering at Taiwan Tech. The printer is called the Taiwan Tech phone printer and it is able to use the light from the screen of any smartphone or tablet to cure resin layer by layer.
The printer places a vat of a special resin on top of a smartphone or similar device. The light then cures the resin on a metal print bed that is held above the vat. As the layers cure, the z-axis platform raises up until the full print is complete.
The team of researchers also create the special resin that can be hardened by visible light rather than needing UV or laser to cure. The printer doesn’t need to be enclosed in a dark box and in tests the team has been able to achieve layer thickness of about 100 microns.
SOURCE: 3D Printing Industry
Researchers have designed new multimaterial printheads that mix and print concentrated viscoelastic inks that allow for the simultaneous control of composition and geometry during printing. Using active mixing and fast-switching nozzles, these novel printheads change material composition on the fly and could pave the way for entirely 3-D printed wearable devices, soft robots, and electronics.