Design, testing, and application of an open-source powder material extrusion 3D printer

Additive Manufacturing, Volume 81, 5 February 2024, 104014

Powder material extrusion (PME) additive manufacturing (AM) is a convenient and practical method to study novel materials by circumventing the need for filamentation or compounding of materials. Avoiding additional processing steps can be an enabler for research with exploratory materials or those that otherwise display thermal instabilities. In this work, we present the design, development, and testing of an open-source PME printer. The open-source PME 3D printer achieves print quality on par with commercial material extrusion 3D printers in terms of dimensional accuracy, print quality, and mechanical performance. Additionally, we demonstrate this system to be versatile and robust through printing of recycled materials, polymer composites, polymer blends, and functional polymers with thermally sensitive moieties. The broad range of build materials illustrates the diverse capabilities accessible with this system, which enabled access to properties and functions such as phosphorescence, ferromagnetism, shape memory, and mechanochromism. By improving the accessibility of PME AM and demonstrating its versatility, we hope to enable others to explore novel material systems.

Read the full article at: