A new method is referred to as “rotational 3D composite printing” because reinforcing fibers are arranged in the polymer matrix by rotating a printing nozzle. It results in controlling the flow of the viscous ink itself to impart the desired fiber orientation.
A team of researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) believe their method can be used to create structural materials that are optimized for strength, stiffness, and damage tolerance. The method could have broad ranging applications, used with different filler and matrix combinations, including carbon, basalt and other fiber types. It also could be used on any material extrusion printing method, from fused filament fabrication to direct ink writing.
Project collaborator Brett Compton commented: “Rotational 3D printing can be used to achieve optimal, or near optimal, fiber arrangements at every location in the printed part, resulting in higher strength and stiffness with less material.” Magnetic or electric fields to orient fibers are not important anymore.
Analysts from Stratview Research in their report «Global 3D-Printed Composites Market by Composite Type» forecasted that global 3D printed composites market would reach $ 111 million by 2022.
Companies: Stratview Research