The solvent-cast 3D printing technology is a highly versatile microfabrication technique that can be used to fabricate 3D geometries at room temperature. It was developed to produce various geometries such as straight filaments, towers, layer-by-layer scaffolds, and freeform circular spirals by the robotic deposition of a polymer solution ink onto a moving stage.
The research work, by Shuang-Zhuang Guo, under the supervision of professors Daniel Therriault and Marie-Claude Heuzey at École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada, makes the cover of the prestigious journal Small.
Under applied pressure, an ink material which undergoes capillary shear flow inside the micronozzle, relaxes its stresses upon exiting the nozzle. The ink material is a fast-drying thermoplastic solution composed of dichloromethane (DCM) and ~30wt% of polylactic acid (PLA). As the solvent evaporates post extrusion, the diameter of the filament decreases and its rigidity gradually increases with time due to a locally higher polymer concentration.
This rigidity gradient enables the creation of self-supporting curved shape by changing the moving path of the extrusion nozzle, in which the filament bending occurs in the low rigidity zone of the newly extruded material. After most of the solvent evaporation, the rigidity of the extruded filament changes from fluid-like to solid-like, which facilitates the shape retention of the deposited self-supporting features. For successful printing of 3D freeform structures, the viscoelastic properties of the polymer solution and the solvent evaporation rate have to be set to ensure proper ink rheological behavior while providing a fast solvent evaporation. This 3D printing process enables the creation of different multifunctional microsystems featuring complex geometries….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the MakerBot Digitizer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.