Active Mixing Nozzle for Multi-material and Multi-scale 3D Printing

[+] Author and Article Information
Hongbo Lan

School Of Mech Eng No. 777 Jialingjiang Road Qingdao, Shandong 266520 China

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037831 History: Received June 10, 2017; Revised August 26, 2017


Multi-scale and multi-material 3D printing is new frontier in additive manufacturing. It has the ability to construct the heterogeneous and hierarchical structured object with tailored properties and multiple functionalities which cannot be achieved through the existing technologies. That paves the way and may result in great breakthrough in various applications, e.g., functional tissue and organ, functionally graded material/structure, wearable devices, soft robot, functionally embedded electronics, metamateria, etc. However, very few of the established additive manufacturing processes have now the capability to implement the multi-material and multi-scale 3D printing. This paper presented a single nozzle-based multi-scale and multi-material 3D printing process by integrating the electrohydrodynamic jet (E-jet) printing and the active mixing multimaterial nozzle. The proposed AM technology has the capability to create multifunctional heterogeneously structured objects with control of the macro-scale external geometry and micro-scale internal structures as well as functional surface features, particularly, the potential to dynamically mix, grade and vary the ratios of different materials. An active mixing nozzle, as a core functional component of the 3D printer, is systematically investigated by combining with the theoretical analysis, numerical simulation and experimental verification. The study aims at exploring a feasible solution to implement the multi-scale and multi-material 3D printing at low cost.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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