Additive manufacturing provides a fast, cost-effective way to build prototypes, customized products, small batches and even products with complex designs. 3D printing is the most familiar of all the additive manufacturing methods, and it can be done today with various printing materials made from polymers, metals, ceramics and even concrete.
Twin-screw compounding helps create new polymer printing materials in filament form. Rheometry combined with Raman spectroscopy allows for analysis of both printing material and final product properties. X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction offer an excellent way to examine the quality of powders for metal 3D printing. See expert recommendations on how to enhance printing and product quality in the webinars, videos, articles and application note resources listed in the sections below.
Scientists and manufacturers continue to develop new capabilities in all areas of additive manufacturing. Some of the technologies to do that include:
See how to create new printing materials for polymer 3D printing with these resources.
Small-scale twin-screw extrusion technology is used for the formulation of new polymers at research and pilot scales. Transfer of new formulations from development to manufacturing is streamlined with scalable extruder systems.
The production of precise 3D filaments requires pulsation-free output which is achieved by attaching a melt pump to a twin-screw extruder. The extruder with melt pump combination offers the advantage of producing a stable, extruded product directly from a new compound formulation.
Homogeneity and contamination in metal powders can determine the mechanical quality of the final 3D printed product. See how to manage the quality (both structural and elemental) of metal powders with these resources.
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) offers an elemental analysis of powders to help determine quality and chemical purity while X-Ray diffraction (XRD) provides structural information. Final product quality can therefore be improved by managing the quality of metal printing materials via XRF and XRD.
The end product of additive manufacturing – either a part or a complete product – has to be of high enough quality to perform its intended function. One way to ensure final product quality is by determining optimal parameters for the 3D printing process.
Desired parameters can be identified by correlating rheometric measurements of a raw material that’s being printed simultaneously with the crystallization of the solid that is extruded as a result. The rheometric measurement provides information on flow and shear at different temperatures and in different areas of the printer nozzle. That data can be examined along with the characteristics of the printed product – how the material crystallizes, how well the layers coalesce, etc. – to determine the optimal 3D printing process for the desired end product.
See the following resources on how to improve the quality of final parts and products created by 3D printing and material extrusion.
3D printing is an additive manufacturing technique generating a lot of interest across many industries. It can be used anywhere from product development to the production of final parts.
Advantages of 3D printing include design freedom, low-cost development and lighter weight materials. In medical applications in particular, 3D printing can improve patient comfort as well as reduce lead time and costs with personalized implants and prostheses.
This free webinar introduces the advantages and challenges of 3D printing followed by case studies in two different markets (aerospace and medical devices) with stringent requirements for material properties, traceability of materials and reliability in production.
Watch the webinar to learn more about successful 3D printing strategies from formulation and filament extrusion through the 3D printing process itself and subsequent material characterization.
Speaker: Marilys Blanchy, R&D Project Manager at RESCOLL Société de Recherche in Pessac Cedex, France
Duration: 60 minutes