UC San Diego makes 3D Printed possible review

Having a capacity to achieve complex geometries and freed from the limitations of molds, the advantages of Additive Manufacturing are many. Size, on the other hand, is not typically among these. With a couple exceptions, 3D Printers all come with greatest build areas, which then translate into a couple constraints one must cope with when 3D Printing oversized models.
Luckily, ways to compensate for such space constraints do exist, and you may count on inventive Additive Manufacturing heads to locate them. Last month, a UC San Diego study team has developed a 3D printing foam which could expand up to 40 times its original size. To think of this sort of material, the UC San Diego research team decided to concentrate on SLA technology. Stereolithography is a process of 3D Printing objects using patterns of light together with UV-curable resin polymers.
The first phase of development aimed at selecting a monomer, a material the team may use as a foundation for their resin formulation. After carrying out different tests, the researchers found out that 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (otherwise known as HEMA) would introduce the quick curing time they needed.
To flip HEMA into a usable foam, the team had to include two materials to it: Photoinitiators, which have to allow resins to be cured, and a blowing agent that would allow the material to enlarge. Step 2 was therefore to find the right concentration of these 3 elements to acquire the final mixture completed.
After the ideal balance was attained, the study team 3D published a lattice sphere. To let it expand, they heated it in a 200 °C temperature more than a 10 mins time interval. The warmth decomposed the blowing agent that made the sphere 40 times bigger than before the procedure.
Watching foam enlarge on footage sure seems really satisfying, now, one may wonder exactly what 3D printing expandable materials would just allow for. Obviously, such research would not have been achieved without apparent applications, which, according to the UC San Diego group, are many.
Lightweight software are the first place such material could be involved in, as it could help design more efficient, lighter buoyancy systems. To highlight this potential, the investigators 3D published a tiny boat and tested the load it could handle before and after the heating procedure. The 3D printing was just able to bear a 10g cargo using its original dimensions but could handle 25 times more fat when the foam expanded.
According to the research team, this material could also be utilised to build airfoils or expandable astronaut habitats.
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