Published By : 31 May 2018 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
Similar to advancing from black and white printing to printing in color, a research team from a the Washington State University has demonstrated the use of the 3D printing technology to print products made of two different kinds of materials in a one-step process. This development could help manufacturers bring down the number of steps involved in the printing of complex products as multiple parts can be 3D printed in a single operation. Until now, 3D printing has been limited mostly to the printing of one material in one operation.
The researchers used 3D printing to print products from ceramic and metallic structures as well as a bimetallic tube. The report concerning the work of the research team has been published in the journal Additive Manufacturing. This advancement, apart from bringing down the number of steps involved in printing a complex product, can also allow manufacturers to have a better control on product properties such as corrosion protection, heat conduction, and adoption of eco-friendly products in materials.
The research is thus a big step towards the next generation of optimization, validation, design, and manufacturing in the field of 3D printing and also a step in the direction of a next level of manufacturing. Use of multiple materials in the process of 3D printing will allow manufacturers to do away with joint connections or adhesives that are presently required when manufacturing products that require multiple materials in their making, thus excluding part that leads to a weak point in the design.
For this experiment, the researchers used a laser-based 3D printer to combine the materials in a single step, developing a copper and nickel-chromium product.