What is the micro 3D printing method? How does it differ from ordinary 3D printing methods? In fact, the micro-3D printing method recently developed by a team at Virginia rapid manufacturing companiesTech uses in situ resin mixing and robotics and is designed to 3D print multiple materials with programmed stiffness and, importantly, it does not suffer from cross-contamination issues.
According to researchers at the university, they are using a new multi-material programmable 3D printing method based on resin transfer that is five times faster than traditional techniques and can be used for a wide range of applications such as drives, aircraft wing structures, artificial muscles, flexible armor, micro-robots, and more.
To this end, Xiaoyu Zheng, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech and a member of the Macromolecular Innovation Institute, explains: "This new microfabricated system can be scaled up to centimeters and beyond. Importantly, this technology is a robot-based 3D printing, rapid cnc prototypingan integrated fluidic system that allows us to provide different inks (resins) as raw materials. At the same time, it is a self-cleaning process, so there is no cross-contamination between inks."
In fact, Xiaoyu Zheng, who has previously worked in the field of nanoscale 3D printing technology, hopes that 3D printing will evolve to such a level that students can 3D print system functions as well as devices by using methods many different material aspects without relying on too many additional processes such as welding, tooling, gluing, and assembly, for example.
Zheng Xiaoyu said, "In order to achieve this goal, we need to put a series of different properties of materials on a platform connected, the increase in material design freedom allows us to achieve negative and positive zero deformation strain without changing the three-dimensional microstructure of the material."
The development is known to have just published a paper in the journal Scientific Reports on its own new micro 3D printing method that uses a robotic material cleaning system in order to switch materials of different moduli without causing any cross-contamination. Things like on-site resin mixing, delivery and exchange are featured in this new technology. The multi-material metamaterials have different rigidity compared to traditional rapid 3d printing3D printing materials, which is arguably a change from current 3D printing methods, although their functionality may be limited when using complex 3D architectures in combination with micron-level resolution.
Finally, Zheng said, "We imagine that these concepts of programmable deformable materials will find applications in the design of directional strain amplification, actuation, flexible electronics and lightweight metamaterials with tailored stiffness and toughness. The new material design space provided by the different material components distributed in the rapidly fabricated microcrystalline dot matrix structure opens up a new dimension of multi-material 3D printing with large stiffness variations.