How the Discov3ry Extruder helped Four Graduate Students Get their Degree

How the Discov3ry Extruder helped Four Graduate Students Get their Degree

Over the years, I have been collecting different journal publications, conference proceedings, meetings, patents, and even books that have either used or mentioned the Discov3ry Extruder.  We are currently published in at least 16, scratch that, 17 publications that have directly used the Discov3ry Extruder to advance research (that's exciting) and have been mentioned in about 16 more (including 3D printing for Dummies!).

I will be sharing my entire collection with you over the following months. Last week I shared 9 academic journal publications where the Discov3ry was used in the experimentation. If you missed it, you can read all about it right here.  This week's collection includes four academic dissertations that have used the Discov3ry Extruder directly to help the graduate students get experimental results and finish their thesis!

Without further ado, here are the four theses.  The thesis publications range from Universities in Canada (Simon Fraser and Waterloo), South Carolina (Clemson), and even Italy (Milan Polytechnic).  Here they are in reverse chronological order. I have included the abstract and keywords, but I encourage you to get a copy of the full papers directly from the host university websites (linked below).

Thesis Publications:

[1] Design of 3D-Printable Conductive Composites for 3D-Printed Battery.
Park, J. S. (2016). Simon Fraser University. Canada. [Link]

ABSTRACT: In this research, a biocompatible nano-composite is designed for the application of 3D printed battery. The nano-composite paste is composed of an electrically conductive silver nanowire (AgNW) filler within a thixotropic carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) matrix. Experimental demonstration and computational simulations on nano-composites with various filler fractions are performed to find the electrical percolation threshold of the nano- composite. The percolation threshold as 0.7 vol. % of AgNWs is predicted by computer simulations as well as by experiments. Also, maximum electronic conductivity is obtained as 1.19×102 S/cm from a nano-composite with 1.9 vol. % of AgNWs. Also, newly designed paste 3D printing apparatus is built by integrating a commercially available delta 3D printer with a paste extruder. Finally, the 3D printable battery facilitated by the conductive composite is demonstrated. Cathode and anode materials are formulated by addition of cathode and anode active materials to the nano-composite of AgNW and CMC. Rheology study of the cathode and anode paste is carried out and thixotropic (shear-thinning) behavior is observed which is an essential characteristic of the 3D printable paste. Lastly, the performance demonstration on the fabricated 3D printed battery is carried out. The 3D printable conductive paste is expected to contribute in additive manufacturing process for printable electronics.

KEYWORDS: CMC; Silver nanowire; lithium battery; nano-composite; paste 3D printing; percolation threshold

 

[2] Optimization and characterization of a commercial 3D printer for direct hydrogel writing.
Volino, M. (2016). Milan Polytechnic. Italy. [Link]

ABSTRACT (translated from Italian):  

The concept of printing in three dimensions (3D printing) was introduced for the first time in 1983 by Charles W. Hull. It is a rapid prototyping process that allows the realization of three-dimensional structures, layer by layer, starting from a digital model of the object. The most commonly used 3D printing technologies are: Stereolithography (SLA), Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and the latest Direct Ink Writing (DIW). Over the years, three-dimensional printing technologies have gained greater influence in the most disparate fields: art, architecture and tissue engineering. The purpose of tissue engineering is regeneration, the restoration or replacement of living tissues or organs that have suffered injuries or insults during their lifetime. To achieve this goal, support structures, commonly called scaffolds, are used in biomedical and tissue engineering applications with the main goal of regenerating or replacing functionally and structurally the original tissues. In general, scaffolds must have some pre-eminent characteristics: internal pathways that allow cell migration and adhesion, adequate mechanical properties, shape retention during cell growth and high porosity to allow cell proliferation and differentiation but also the transport of oxygen, nutrients, growth factors and the expulsion of waste products. In this compound, 3D molding technologies allow, with respect to all the other techniques used to make scaffolds, to obtain a high repeatability and control on the interconnection of the pores, on their distribution, size and volume, leading to the creation of customized support structures. Two types of scaffolds can be manufactured with the above-mentioned 3D printing technologies: cellular scaffolds, in which the cells are seeded on an appropriate 3D printed structure and bio-molded scaffolds, in which the cells and the chosen biomaterial are printed together to form the three-dimensional structure. The 3D bioprinting technology is used to obtain a controlled distribution of cells in three-dimensional structures in such a way that the cells themselves do not die or lose their functionality. The aim of the project was therefore to explore a new application of 3D printing technology in the context of tissue engineering. The project involved the optimization of a low-cost commercial 3D printer for the controlled deposition of hydrogels in order to realize accurate three-dimensional cellular cultures. The initial demonstration of the feasibility of the adaptation of the commercial printer for the controlled deposition of hydrogels in three-dimensional geometries could lead to the validation of this technique for the fabrication of cellular tissues and models. The choice and design of the material to be printed also took on great importance. The thesis project has in fact shown how it is the choice of the material and its characteristics that influence the optimization of the deposition system and not vice versa. The deposition system consists of a 3D printer, Felix 3.0 Dual extruder, and a simple system, called "pasta extruder", the Discov3ry, which is electrically connected to the printer and allows the extrusion of the material exerting a controlled pressure on the piston of a syringe. This extrusion mode is typical of filament-based DIW techniques where a highly viscous material is extruded as a continuous filament on a movable support, in this case the printer plate, through a cylindrical or conical nozzle. Experimental tests have highlighted two main problems: the not perfect control of the amount of extruded material per unit of time (flow) and the mechanical inadequacy of the support made by the company to allow the possible use of the Discov3ry tip as a second printer extruder. Regarding the latter problem, the aim was therefore to build a support that would allow to easily calibrate the tip of the pasta extruder without compromising the ability to move along the Z axis. The final support created was inspired by the design of the printer's hot-end. It is important to underline however how the fluid is not heated in any part of the extrusion system, which allows only extrusions at room temperature. Instead, it was possible to control the flow through an understanding of the mechanical and physical laws that regulate the flow of material along the system. The Discov3ry behaves like a syringe pump consisting of: a stepper motor, a transmission, two toothed wheels and a worm screw attached to the base in which the syringe is housed. Being able to control the revolutions of the stepper motor thanks to the software of the printer and known the reduction ratio of the entire system, it was possible to determine the speed of translation of the screw and therefore the flow rate exiting the syringe. The choice of material has fallen on a new type of natural hydrogel, used for a few years in tissue engineering: the silk fibroin solution. The silk fibroin solution is a natural hydrogel, extracted from the Bombyx mori silkworms, which has been shown to be highly biocompatible and possess excellent mechanical properties. Following the extraction process, the solution obtained is a 7-8 w / v% silk fibroin solution. This solution from the rheological point of view is similar to water; it has therefore been extremely useful during the comprehension and modeling of the system but not subsequently for the realization of multi-layer structures. Highly concentrated materials have shown to be particularly suitable for the realization of specific three-dimensional structures as they are capable of maintaining the filamentary form also following the extrusion. As a result, the solution was necessary to obtain a shear thinning response (shear thinning response). This means that by increasing the pressure or the extrusion speed above a certain threshold ("shear yield stress"), the solution will start to flow with an ever lower viscosity and therefore will be easier to print but, as soon as it is extruded, coming back at a condition of zero stress, it will behave like a gel. It was possible to concentrate the silk fibroin solution only up to 25 w / t%; it showed an initial thinning response at the cut but a viscosity not sufficient to form a continuous filament that maintained the shape immediately after extrusion. The solution was, therefore, extruded in the form of drops. The fluid dynamics involved in the formation of the drops and their dilation following the impact with the substrate or with the other underlying layers plays a fundamental role in determining the lateral and vertical resolution of the system. The height and width of the printer lines depend on the size, the extension of the expansion and the deformation of the drops followed by solidification. The solidification of the structures takes place after the evaporation of the water content of the silk fibroin solution thanks to a printer plate temperature of 40 ° C. The best lateral resolution obtained with the system used (flat cylindrical nozzle with internal diameter of 610 μm and external of 900 μm) was 850 μm at a deposition rate of 15 mm / s. The line width does not vary depending on the flow rate at a given deposition rate but by varying the deposition rate it decreases slightly. By fixing the flow rate, with a certain line width, the height is also inversely proportional to the deposition speed. A thickness of 40 μm was obtained with the same nozzle, at a flow rate of 0.4 〖mm〗 ^ 3 / s and a deposition rate of 2 mm / s. Multilayer structures were also created. The profile of these structures was not perfectly uniform; this could be due to the round profile of the single printed lines that does not favor an adequate support or the non-perfect melting of the layer-on-layer deposited material. The lateral and vertical resolution of the deposition system is therefore determined by the rheological properties of the solution, the printing speed, the diameter and the shape of the nozzle. The system was therefore characterized in terms of deposition parameters such as the viscosity of the material, the width and the height of the line. Numerous limitations were found due to the choice of the material used and the nature of the system. In any case, it has shown good potential to be adopted in the field of 3D bioprinting; it is also easy to use and not too expensive. 

KEYWORDS: 3D printing; 3D bioprinting; scaffold; hydrogel; silk fibroin; tissue engineering

 

[3] Advanced Manufacturing of Lightweight Porous Carbide Shapes Using Renewable Resources.
Islam, M. (2018). Clemson University. United States of America. [Link]

ABSTRACT: This dissertation presents an origami-inspired manufacturing and an additive manufacturing platform for the fabrication of 3D shapes of porous carbide material using renewable biopolymers as the carbon source. Porous carbide materials possess interesting properties including low density, high surface area, high chemical inertness, high oxidation resistance, adjustable electrical conductivity, and high mechanical properties. Due to such properties, they are used in different applications such as high temperature filters, catalytic support, thermal insulators and structural materials. The state-of-the-art to manufacture porous carbide materials includes direct foaming and templating methods. However, shaping of porous materials with these techniques relies on the use of molds, which restricts the shape complexity of the fabricated parts. Furthermore, most of the carbon precursors used in the current fabrication methods are polymers synthesized from non-renewable petroleum, which leads to a non-environment-friendly synthesis process of carbide materials. Different biopolymers including gelatin, chitosan and glucose have been demonstrated for a sustainable approach for the synthesis of carbide materials by previous authors. However, these synthesis approaches were limited only to the production of carbide nanoparticles. No method was reported so far for the fabrication of 3D shapes of porous carbide materials using the biopolymeric approaches. Hence, in this dissertation, I intend to develop manufacturing platforms which allow for the fabrication of 3D complex shapes of carbide materials using renewable biopolymers to achieve an environment-friendly process.

 

[4] Extrusion-based 3D Printing and Characterization of Edible Materials.
Huang, C. Y. (2018). University of Waterloo. Canada [Link]

ABSTRACT: 3D printing food offers the ability to customize shapes, texture, as well as nutritional content. In addition, it can automate the cooking process to save time and produce meals on-demand to minimize waste. One potential application is to 3D print food for those suffering from dysphagia, a condition that affects one’s ability to swallow. Texture modified food products for dysphagia often lose their shape and have limited visual appeal. 3D printing could provide shape to these texture modified food products and ultimately improve nutrient intake. One of the limitations that are currently preventing wider adaption of this technology is the lack of understanding of how food properties affect the 3D printing process and quality of the printed object. In this thesis, room temperature extrusion-based 3D printing was investigated using a desktop 3D printer with a syringe extrusion system. Two hydrocolloids, modified starch and xanthan gum, were used as model material to study room temperature extrusion-based 3D printing. The relationship between the 3D printer settings and the extrusion process variables, extrusion rate and nozzle speed, was obtained by investigating the machine command (G-code). The nozzle speed could be controlled by the extrusion multiplier while the extrusion rate could be controlled by the stepper motor speed. In addition, extrusion tests showed that the syringe extrusion system displayed a lag time around 2 to 5 minutes before stable extrusion rate was reached. The extrusion lag time increased with increased material yield stresses and decreased with increased syringe motor speed. Xanthan gum paste, modified starch pastes, and puréed carrot were selected as model inks. Oscillatory rheology measurements including strain and frequency sweep were conducted to study the range of properties suitable for 3D printing. The range of yield stress suitable for extrusion was between 60-730 Pa and around 0.1-0.2 for the loss tangent (tan δ). The printable range of complex modulus (G*) was from 320 to 1200 Pa. Furthermore, data from the frequency sweep of xanthan gum and modified starch pastes was fitted to power law models and compared to published data of foods to assess their potential suitability as food inks for 3D printing. Puréed carrot had higher G* compared to xanthan gum and modified starch pastes but had lower elasticity. Puréed carrot was suitable for 3D printing because of its stiffness and low elasticity. In addition, food texture measurements based on the methods described in the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) were also conducted. Printable inks were able to retain its shape on a fork without dripping through the prongs and slide off a spoon with minimal residue. Two printed objects were considered, a line and a cylinder. The line printing was conducted to find the optimal settings of volumetric extrusion rate, nozzle speed, and layer height. The cylinder printing was conducted to assess the effects of ink rheology and infill levels, the fraction of the interior of the object to be filled with material when printed, on maximum build height. Continuous lines and sharp angles were able to be 3D printed when the line diameter was 130% of the nozzle diameter. Slightly thicker lines ensure proper layer adhesion. The layer height of the printed line, determined from the aspect ratio (height over width), ranged from 50% to 80% of the nozzle diameter. Lower aspect ratio indicated spreading of the ink. The cylinder printing experiments indicated that an ink with storage modulus (G’) around 300 Pa produced cylinder up to 20 mm height before collapse, while an ink with G’ around 900 Pa produced a cylinder up to twice the height. Increasing infill levels from 0 to 50% provided additional internal support to the structure but subjected the object to more stress due to nozzle movement. The work presented in this thesis generated information on how rheological characteristics affect the food’s suitability for room temperature extrusion-based 3D printing as well as the quality of the printed object. The relationships between the 3D printer, slicer setting, and G-code were investigated to understand how extrusion rates and nozzle speeds can be controlled for 3D printing paste type inks. Food texture measurements based on the methods described in the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) were conducted with fork and spoon to assess the ink’s consistency and adhesiveness. Rheological characterization of the inks provided upper and lower limit of a printable ink. Power law models were used to analyze the rheology data and the models parameters of the inks were compared to published data of foods to assess their potential suitability as food inks for 3D printing.

KEYWORDS: 3D Food Printing; 3D Printing; Chemical Engineering; Master Thesis; Rheology; Starch; Texture Modified Food; Xanthan Gum

 

If you are familiar with any thesis publications I may have missed, please reach out to me or the team. You can reach us any time at hello@(our URL).io, or reach out on Twitter or Facebook.

References:

  1. Park, J. S. (2016). Design of 3D-Printable Conductive Composites for 3D-Printed Battery. Simon Fraser University. Retrieved from http://summit.sfu.ca/item/16545
  2. Volino, M. (2016). Optimization and characterization of a commercial 3D printer for direct hydrogel writing. Milan Polytechnic. Retrieved from https://www.politesi.polimi.it/handle/10589/131568
  3. Islam, M. (2018). Advanced Manufacturing of Lightweight Porous Carbide Shapes Using Renewable Resources. Clemson University. Retrieved from https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/all_dissertations/2138
  4. Huang, C. Y. (2018). Extrusion-based 3D Printing and Characterization of Edible Materials. University of Waterloo. Retrieved from https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/handle/10012/12899

Where are they now? How researchers around the globe are using their Discov3ry Extruder

Where are they now? How researchers around the globe are using their Discov3ry Extruder

As we quickly pass by the third year that the Discov3ry paste extruder has been adding functionality to the 3D printing market (and approach Structur3d Printing's 5th birthday!) we wanted to share a little bit about what our materials developers are doing with it.

Over the years, I have been collecting different journal publications, conference proceedings, meetings, patents, and even books that have either used or mentioned the Discov3ry Extruder.  We are currently published in at least 16 publications that have directly used the Discov3ry Extruder to advance research (that's exciting) and have been mentioned in about 16 more (including 3D printing for Dummies!).

I will be sharing my entire collection with you over the following months. And of course, if you are familiar with anything I may have missed, please reach out to me or the team. You can reach us any time at hello@(our URL).io, or reach out on Twitter or Facebook.

Without further ado, here are 9 academic journal publications where the Discov3ry was used in the experimentation.  The publications range from International Journal on Food System Dynamics to Nature Scientific Reports.  Here they are in reverse chronological order. I have included the abstract, keywords, and available images, but I encourage you to get a copy of the full papers through your institution or by sending an email to the corresponding authors (also linked through the lead authors name below).

 

Journal Publications:

[1] Mechanically Robust, Ultraelastic Hierarchical Foam with Tunable Properties via 3D Printing.
Chen, Q., Cao, P.-F., & Advincula, R. C. (2018). Advanced Functional Materials. [link]

ABSTRACT: A mechanically robust, ultraelastic foam with controlled multiscale especially for those with special internal architectures and tunable mechanical/conductive performance is fabricated morphologies and architectures. Demands via 3D printing. Hierarchical porosity, including both macro- and microscaled for formulating new functional materials pores, are produced by the combination of direct ink writing (DIW), acid that are readily printable are rising rapidly etching, and phase inversion. The thixotropic inks in DIW are formulated by driven by the expansion of the application fields. 3D printing of elastic foam, a simple one-pot process to disperse duo nanoparticles (nanoclay and silica which is appealing in lots of industrial nanoparticles) in a polyurethane suspension. The resulting lightweight foam fields, is still challenging due to the diffi- exhibits tailorable mechanical strength, unprecedented elasticity (standing culty of forming internal porous structure over 1000 compression cycles), and remarkable robustness (rapidly and using existing printing techniques. fully recover after a load more than 20 000 times of its own weight). Surface Foams are widely applied in numerous fields owning to their special internal coating of carbon nanotubes yields a conductive elastic foam that can be porous morphology offering distinctive used as piezoresistivity sensor with high sensitivity. For the first time, this characteristics. Among them, elastic strategy achieves 3D printing of elastic foam with controlled multilevel 3D foams are especially attractive due to structures and mechanical/conductive properties. Moreover, the facile ink their broad industrial applications, such preparation method can be utilized to fabricate foams of various materials as flexible sensors, tissue engineering, with desirable performance via 3D printing.

KEYWORDS: controllable performance; direct ink writing; hierarchical porosity; stress sensing; ultraelastic foams

 

[2] Food Futures and 3D Printing: Strategic Market Foresight and the Case of Structur3D.
Charlebois, S., & Juhasz, M. (2018). International Journal on Food System Dynamics, 9(2), 138–148. [link]

ABSTRACT: Our case study analyses 3D Printing and its contribution to food innovation. Our examination uses strategic foresight as a knowledge transfer tool for food industry planning. As a force for change, customization is a leading characteristic of 3D food printing in user-centred design. Broader societal and economic pressures for sustainability, human health and nutrition can be addressed by 3D food printing with bioplastics, recycling, and product customization catered to distinct market demographic segments. In terms of scale and competition, some 3D food printing companies will focus on customization at scales for purposes. At regional or national authority levels, innovative policies will serve vital incentive catalysts and support structures. Our case study looks at Structur3d, a Kitchener-Waterloo-based company, within a larger world of 3D printing innovation, science, and processing. We examine Structur3d in the context of food innovation at-large within an ecosystem of economic change and disruption, and consider the evolution of Canadian food business, manufacturing strategy and public policy in a global economy to meet rapidly changing societal needs in engineering, capital, material science, and action planning.

KEYWORDS: 3D food printing; food processing; innovation; market development; strategic foresight

 

[3] Development of 3D printing technology for the manufacture of flexible electric double-layer capacitors.
Areir, M., Xu, Y., Harrison, D., Fyson, J., & Zhang, R. (2018). Materials and Manufacturing Processes, 33(8), 905–911. [link]

ABSTRACT: This study presents a novel process and manufacturing system for the fabrication of Electric Double-Layer Capacitors (EDLCs) as energy storage devices. It shows an approach for printing multilayer EDLC components using 3D printing technology. This process allows layers of activated carbon (AC) slurry, gel electrolyte, and composite solid filaments to be printed with high precision. The study describes the detailed process of deposition of the AC and gel electrolyte using the dual nozzle system. The performance of the flexible EDLCs manufactured by 3D printing in a rectilinear infill pattern has been investigated. It describes the energy storage performance of the printed supercapacitors in relation to the differences in thickness of the AC printed layers and the differences in density of gel electrolyte. A supercapacitor based on printed AC and composite materials displays a specific capacitance of 38.5 mF g?1 when measured at a potential rate change of 20 mV / s and a current density of 0.136 A / g. The highest energy density value for the flexible EDLC was 0.019 Wh / kg and power density of 165.0 W / kg in 1.6 M H2SO4/PVA gel electrolyte.

KEYWORDS: 3D printing; carbon; characterization; composite; electrochemical; electrolyte; flexible; supercapacitor

 

[4] 3D printed scaffolds with gradient porosity based on a cellulose nanocrystal hydrogel.
Sultan, S., & Mathew, A. P. (2018). Nanoscale, 10(9), 4421–4431. [link]

ABSTRACT: 3-Dimensional (3D) printing provides a unique methodology for the customization of biomedical scaffolds with respect to size, shape, pore structure and pore orientation useful for tissue repair and regeneration. 3D printing was used to fabricate fully bio-based porous scaffolds of a double crosslinked interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) from a hydrogel ink of sodium alginate and gelatin (SA/G) reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). CNCs provided favorable rheological properties required for 3D printing. The 3D printed scaffolds were crosslinked sequentially via covalent and ionic reactions resulting in dimensionally stable hydrogel scaffolds with pore sizes of 80–2125 µm and nanoscaled pore wall roughness (visible from scanning electron microscopy) favorable for cell interaction. The 2D wide angle X-ray scattering studies showed that the nanocrystals orient preferably in the printing direction; the degree of orientation varied between 61–76%. The 3D printing pathways were optimised successfully to achieve 3-dimensional scaffolds (Z axis up to 20 mm) with uniform as well as gradient pore structures. This study demonstrates the potential of 3D printing in developing bio-based scaffolds with controlled pore sizes, gradient pore structures and alignment of nanocrystals for optimal tissue regeneration.

KEYWORDS

[5]  Nozzle Shape Guided Filler Orientation in 3D Printed Photo-curable Nanocomposites.
Kim, T., Trangkanukulkij, R., & Kim, W. S. (2018). Nature Scientific Reports, 8(1), 3805. [link]

ABSTRACT: Here, we report guided orientation of silver nanowires (AgNWs) in extruded patterns with photo-curable 3D printing technology. A printable conductive composite material composed of polymer matrix and silver nanowires shows significantly varied electrical properties depending on the cross-sectional shape of printing nozzles: flat or circular. The composite is designed to have highly conductive AgNWs and a dielectric polymer matrix like photo-curable methacrylate resin. The dielectric permittivity of photo-curable composite resin with 1.6 vol. % of AgNWs printed through a circular nozzle showed 27. However, the same resin showed much lower permittivity with 20 when it is printed with a flat nozzle. The cross-sectional sample morphology shows that AgNWs printed with a circular nozzle are aligned, and AgNWs printed with a flat nozzle are randomly distributed. A computational simulation of paste extrusion with two different nozzle shapes showed clearly different fluidic velocities at the nozzle exit, which contributes to different fiber orientation in printed samples. A radio frequency identification sensor is fabricated with 3D printed composite using a flat nozzle for the demonstration of AgNW based 3D printed conductor.

KEYWORDS: Electrical and electronic engineering; Electronic devices

 

[6] A study of 3D printed active carbon electrode for the manufacture of electric double-layer capacitors.
Areir, M., Xu, Y., Zhang, R., Harrison, D., Fyson, J., & Pei, E. (2017). Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 25, 351–356. [link]

ABSTRACT: This paper reports an experimental investigation of the potential for printing selected commercially available activated carbon (AC) onto a flexible fabric. A dual nozzle deposition system was used based on fused deposition modelling (FDM) solid-based process. This is capable of extruding an AC slurry for making Electric Double-Layer Capacitors (EDLCs). We used an adaptive slicing approach which allows us to modify the layer thickness and deposit a controlled amount of AC materials with an accurate orientation to form predetermined tracks. Several forms of AC slurry were difficult to deposit because of the carbon particle size and acid concentration. This work discusses how the supercapacitor behaves in relation to the printed AC layers. The effects of the fabrication processes on the AC electrodes were further investigated. FDM/Paste material deposition could provide a method for making several functional elements in one process, for example printing piezoelectric materials and energy storage for smart products. The major contribution of this work is an approach for printing multilayer AC as electrodes by using 3D printing technology. The 3D printing technology allows the manufacture of complex internal patterns accurately, and provides the ability to build various thicknesses of layers in a fast and smooth operation.

KEYWORDS: Activated carbon; 3D printing technology; Electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs); Energy storage system; Flexible composite material

 

[7] A study of 3D printed flexible supercapacitors onto silicone rubber substrates.
Areir, M., Xu, Y., Harrison, D., & Fyson, J. (2017). Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics, 28(23), 18254–18261. [link]

ABSTRACT: The rapid development of flexible energy storage devices is crucial for various electronics industries. Highly flexible electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLCs) can be manufactured by 3D printing technology. It was a great challenge to fabricate multiple material layers of the EDLC in one rapid and accurate deposition event. The fabricated structures were composed of twelve electrodes which could be configured in a number of different ways in one block module. This work aims to investigate the perfor- mance of the flexible EDLCs manufactured by 3D printing in a honeycomb pattern. The EDLC cells were fabricated using a slurry made from commercial activated carbon (AC) and a gel electrolyte deposited on a transparent silicone sub- strate. The flexible EDLCs structures can be used in flexible electronics with different patterns and sizes using 3D printer and can be applied to many applications such as wearable technology.

KEYWORDS: Activated carbon; 3D printing technology; Electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs); Energy storage system; Flexible composite material

 

[8] Beyond the concepts of nanocomposite and 3D printing: PVA and nanodiamonds for layer-by-layer additive manufacturing.
Angjellari, M., Tamburri, E., Montaina, L., Natali, M., Passeri, D., Rossi, M., & Terranova, M. L. (2017). Materials & Design, 119, 12–21. [link]

ABSTRACT: The use of dispersions of poly(vinyl alcohol) PVA and detonation nanodiamond (DND) as novel inks for 3D printing of variously shaped objects using a layer-by-layer additive manufacturing method is reported. In parallel with the nanocomposites preparation, we designed a 3D printing apparatus and settled protocols for the shaping of hybrid materials, choosing PVA-DND inks as a model system to test the performances of the 3D apparatus. Along with material design and preparation, we discuss the main factors influencing the quality of the final printed objects and enlighten the importance of the matching between the chemical/physical properties of the materials to be extruded and the characteristics of the 3D printer. The thermal and mechanical properties of the printed systems have been tested by Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Contact Resonance Atomic Force Microscopy. The analysis of the mechanical properties of the 3D printed objects evidenced, for 0.5%w/w, 1%w and 5%w DND-loaded nanocomposites, values of mean indentation modulus that are 22%, 44% and 200% higher, respectively, than that of the unloaded PVA. The results of the present research, indicate that an appropriate methodology is able to print PVA-DND nanocomposites in well-defined and shaped structures, suitable for a variety of possible applications.

KEYWORDS: Additive manufacturing; 3D printer; Detonation nanodiamond; PVA; Nanocomposites; Thermal properties; Mechanical properties

 

[9] 3D printing of highly flexible supercapacitor designed for wearable energy storage.
Areir, M., Xu, Y., Harrison, D., & Fyson, J. (2017). Materials Science and Engineering: B, 226, 29–38. [link]

ABSTRACT: The use of dispersions of poly(vinyl alcohol) PVA and detonation nanodiamond (DND) as novel inks for 3D printing of variously shaped objects using a layer-by-layer additive manufacturing method is reported. In parallel with the nanocomposites preparation, we designed a 3D printing apparatus and settled protocols for the shaping of hybrid materials, choosing PVA-DND inks as a model system to test the performances of the 3D apparatus. Along with material design and preparation, we discuss the main factors influencing the quality of the final printed objects and enlighten the importance of the matching between the chemical/physical properties of the materials to be extruded and the characteristics of the 3D printer. The thermal and mechanical properties of the printed systems have been tested by Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Contact Resonance Atomic Force Microscopy. The analysis of the mechanical properties of the 3D printed objects evidenced, for 0.5%w/w, 1%w and 5%w DND-loaded nanocomposites, values of mean indentation modulus that are 22%, 44% and 200% higher, respectively, than that of the unloaded PVA. The results of the present research, indicate that an appropriate methodology is able to print PVA-DND nanocomposites in well-defined and shaped structures, suitable for a variety of possible applications.

KEYWORDS: 3D printing technology; Electrical double-layer capacitors (EDLCs); Flexible supercapacitor; Wearable energy storage; Bending test

References:

  1. Chen, Q., Cao, P.-F., & Advincula, R. C. (2018). Mechanically Robust, Ultraelastic Hierarchical Foam with Tunable Properties via 3D Printing. Advanced Functional Materials, 28(21), 1800631. https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201800631
  2. Charlebois, S., & Juhasz, M. (2018). Food Futures and 3D Printing: Strategic Market Foresight and the Case of Structur3D. International Journal on Food System Dynamics, 9(2), 138–148. https://doi.org/10.18461/ijfsd.v9i2.923
  3. Areir, M., Xu, Y., Harrison, D., Fyson, J., & Zhang, R. (2018). Development of 3D printing technology for the manufacture of flexible electric double-layer capacitors. Materials and Manufacturing Processes, 33(8), 905–911. https://doi.org/10.1080/10426914.2017.1401712
  4. Sultan, S., & Mathew, A. P. (2018). 3D printed scaffolds with gradient porosity based on a cellulose nanocrystal hydrogel. Nanoscale, 10(9), 4421–4431. https://doi.org/10.1039/C7NR08966J
  5. Kim, T., Trangkanukulkij, R., & Kim, W. S. (2018). Nozzle Shape Guided Filler Orientation in 3D Printed Photo-curable Nanocomposites. Nature Scientific Reports, 8(1), 3805. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22107-0
  6. Areir, M., Xu, Y., Zhang, R., Harrison, D., Fyson, J., & Pei, E. (2017). A study of 3D printed active carbon electrode for the manufacture of electric double-layer capacitors. Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 25, 351–356. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JMAPRO.2016.12.020
  7. Areir, M., Xu, Y., Harrison, D., & Fyson, J. (2017). A study of 3D printed flexible supercapacitors onto silicone rubber substrates. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics, 28(23), 18254–18261. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10854-017-7774-9
  8. Angjellari, M., Tamburri, E., Montaina, L., Natali, M., Passeri, D., Rossi, M., & Terranova, M. L. (2017). Beyond the concepts of nanocomposite and 3D printing: PVA and nanodiamonds for layer-by-layer additive manufacturing. Materials & Design, 119, 12–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.MATDES.2017.01.051
  9. Areir, M., Xu, Y., Harrison, D., & Fyson, J. (2017). 3D printing of highly flexible supercapacitor designed for wearable energy storage. Materials Science and Engineering: B, 226, 29–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.MSEB.2017.09.004

Here are the 7 companies we're excited to see next week at NPE 2018!

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Here are the 7 companies we're excited to see next week at NPE 2018!

This is the first year Structur3D Printing will be exhibiting at NPE2018: The Plastics Show (http://www.npe.org/), from May 7-11 in Orlando, Florida.

We are certainly very excited to be demonstrating our soft materials 3D printing technology at the NPE show, but we are also extremely delighted to explore the showroom of nearly 2200 exhibiting businesses.

Earlier this week, we took some time to see which other companies would be exhibiting at NPE that would be interesting to check out.  We wanted to share a list of businesses influential in the area of new materials for 3D printing (as we see this as THE most important area for growth).  Make sure to add these companies to your NPE Agenda today!

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Structur3D Printing & UltimakerGB Announce Global Distribution & Reseller Agreement

Structur3D Printing & UltimakerGB Announce Global Distribution & Reseller Agreement

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada — January 15, 2018

Structur3D Printing is proud to announce its new EMEA and APAC distribution and reseller agreement with UltimakerGB. In 2016, Structur3D Printing became an official Ultimaker reseller with the launch of its Discov3ry Complete printer systems built on the Ultimaker printers. This new agreement extends the relationship between Ultimaker and Structur3D and brings the Discov3ry Complete offering to Ultimaker resellers globally (excluding North America).

Structur3D is part of the growing hardware startup scene in Kitchener-Waterloo Region —globally recognized as Canada’s Silicon Valley due to its significant innovation and technology talent. Since its beginnings in 2013, Structur3D’s mission has been to standardize the use of soft materials — such as silicone, biomaterials, electronic inks, and food — for 3D printing.

In order to build on the success of their standalone Discov3ry extruder, Structur3D sought a partner to create a fully integrated, all-in-one paste and plastic printing solution. They chose Ultimaker due to it being open source, very well engineered, and extremely reliable.

The result: The Discov3ry Complete. Now, with this reseller agreement, this versatile system, with a full standard warranty and technical support — is available for distribution to resellers globally (excluding North America).

“Current customers, including internationally ranked research, academic, and commercial institutions have really embraced the Discov3ry Complete system and all the potential it brings to 3D printing. We are tremendously excited to be able to offer our technology more readily worldwide,” says Charles Mire, CEO and Cofounder, Structur3D.

“We’ve watched Structur3D’s business grow over the past couple of years, and our customers and resellers have seen growing interest in the Discov3ry Complete product,” adds Paul Croft, Director, UltimakerGB. “We are delighted to bring this cutting-edge technology to the wider global market.”

Structur3D Printing (http://www.structur3d.io/ - hello@structur3d.io) is the market leader for soft materials printing. Based in Canada’s innovation corridor, the company has experienced rapid growth and continues to extend the boundaries of 3D printing with soft materials. Its customers include many of the world’s high-ranking universities, government and military research labs, and Fortune 500 research divisions.

Ultimaker GB (https://3dgbire.com/ - enquiriesgb@ultimaker.com) was founded in 2013 and are the exclusive distributor for Ultimaker Products in the UK and Ireland. Ultimaker GB are proud to be the newly appointed exclusive global distributor for Structur3D products. Through the use of our vast global partner network and carefully established UK and Irish reseller network, we are able to make Structur3D products more accessible to more customers than ever before.

Ultimaker BV (https://ultimaker.com/en - info@ultimaker.com) was founded in 2011 in the Netherlands. Ultimaker 3D printers have been designed with one goal – high quality prints. The printers have been built on an open architecture since the beginning which, along with the quality construction, makes them easy to repair and maintain. Ultimaker has consistently received the highest ratings in MAKE Magazine’s 3D Printer Guide.

Announcing the Discov3ry 2.0 - Two-Part Extrusion and Mixing Meets 3D Printing

Announcing the Discov3ry 2.0 - Two-Part Extrusion and Mixing Meets 3D Printing

Discov3ry2

In 2014, the Discov3ry paste extruder was successfully launched to bring paste 3D printing to a wider audience. Thousands of people worldwide are now using the Discov3ry to work with an expanded range of 3D printing materials. Additionally, Structur3d Printing has furthered its research of materials and methods for 3D printing with soft materials. As sales in the research market grew, we realized the need to provide a fully integrated printer system. The Discov3ry Complete became this flagship platform thanks to a partnership with Ultimaker.

By listening carefully to customer feedback over the past couple of years, we realized the next opportunity – the Discov3ry 2.0.

The Discov3ry 2.0 brings together 2-part materials with the simplicity of using the original Discov3ry for 3D printing. It is also is made for more industrial applications. As with the original Discov3ry, we will be offering the Discov3ry 2.0 Complete: the Ultimaker printer pre-integrated with the Discov3ry 2.0.

Discov3ry 2.0 Complete

“The Discov3ry 2.0 was a natural evolution of our technology. Customer feedback was very important to make sure we built something people wanted. The original Discov3ry opened 3D printing to thousands of materials. The Discov3ry 2.0 raises the material possibilities to tens of thousands,” says Charles Mire, CEO and Cofounder, Structur3D.

Please click here to learn more about the Discov3ry 2.0 and how you can order.

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Andrew Finkle, our CTO, did an interview with Fabbaloo on the launch of the Discov3ry 2.0 and his visions for 3D printing pastes. Check it out here.

7 Tips for Beginner 3D Modelers

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7 Tips for Beginner 3D Modelers

Every killer 3D modeler has taken the same demanding path to get to the pedestal of 3D design. What might seem overwhelming for some, can seem an adventure for others.

This guest post by Valy at Gambody.com. will help you get started. 

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Introducing the Discov3ry Complete

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Introducing the Discov3ry Complete

Today is an exciting day for us as we officially announce our new Official Ultimaker Reseller status. With this mutual partnership, we are now offering a top-tier, fully integrated, Ultimaker+Discov3ry system - The Discov3ry Complete.

 

 

 

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