Additive manufacturing is capturing minds, credit high functionality in printing a variety of materials. Some of the most common materials printed with this technique are wood composites, plastic, and even metals. So far, the biggest problem area in terms of the process is glass. And, it is particularly the case with specimen with intricate detailing or those that exist in complex forms.
But, scientists are onto it. And, the credit goes to team of researchers from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
About the Study:
Understanding the Challenge – Adding layers of glass is possible, but tricky. And, the reason behind is that massive heat is required to melt glass. And, that means equipment needs sturdiness of another kind to withstand the harshness. Basically, if it is not sturdy, then, damages happen, especially to structure and internal stresses.
But, there is another way. And, it is using ceramic particles, molding them together in a heat apparatus, and then printing. However, the outcome is not intricate. Though, it is true that the process is not as complex.
What the Solution to the Problem Looks Like – Stereo lithography, a printing technique from the 80’s is the answer apparently. In fact, it is one of the earliest techniques of printing 3 dimensional objects. Basically, it uses a mix of materials such as resins, glass, and plastic for bonding. Once the mixture is ready, it sees exposure to UV light, which hardens it. And, this then enables printing one layer at a time. Basically, the whole game is that of light, which leads to a perfect framework of ceramic and plastic.
And, the impressive bit here is that the layers are flexible towards change during the process. Mainly, the properties are changeable by using new material sin the mix. For instance, phosphate and borate changes layers with much ease, impacting and transforming properties.