Active Mixing Nozzle for Multimaterial and Multiscale Three-Dimensional Printing

[+] Author and Article Information
Hongbo Lan

Qindao Engineering Research
Center for 3D Printing,
Qingdao Technological University,
Qingdao 266033, Shandong, China
e-mail: hblan99@126.com

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received June 10, 2017; final manuscript received August 26, 2017; published online September 27, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Yayue Pan.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 5(4), 040904 (Sep 27, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: JMNM-17-1026; doi: 10.1115/1.4037831 History: Received June 10, 2017; Revised August 26, 2017

Multiscale and multimaterial three-dimensional (3D) printing is new frontier in additive manufacturing (AM). It has shown great potential to implement the simultaneous and full control for fabricated object including external geometry, internal architecture, functional surface, material composition and ratio as well as gradient distribution, feature size ranging from nano-, micro-, to macro-scale, embedded components and electrocircuit, etc. Furthermore, 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 (FG) material/structure, wearable devices, soft robot, functionally embedded electronics, metamaterial, multifunctionality product, etc. However, very few of the established AM processes have now the capability to implement the multimaterial and multiscale 3D printing. This paper presented a single nozzle-based multiscale and multimaterial 3D printing process by integrating the electrohydrodynamic 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 macroscale external geometry and microscale 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 multiscale and multimaterial 3D printing at low cost.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of electrohydrodynamic jet printing [9]

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Fig. 2

Schematic of multimaterial and multiscale 3D printing

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Fig. 3

Force and structure of flow field in the mixing chamber: (a) XY plane and (b) YZ plane

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the active mixing nozzle

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Fig. 5

Simplified structure of the mixing chamber

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Fig. 6

Diagram of the location of tracer

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Fig. 7

Velocity field and pressure field of the mixing chamber: (a) velocity field and (b) pressure field

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Fig. 8

Mixing process of tracer in the mixing chamber

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Fig. 9

Response curve of tracer's concentration

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Fig. 10

Mixing effect of the fluid at t = 6 s with different impeller diameters: (a) d = 8 mm, (b) d = 12 mm, (c) d = 16 mm, (d) d = 24 mm, (e) d = 32 mm, and (f) d = 34 mm

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Fig. 11

Mixing time changes with diameter of impeller

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Fig. 12

Mixing effect of the fluid with different rotational speeds of the impeller: (a) n = 5 r/min, (b) n = 10 r/min, (c) n = 20 r/min, (d) n = 40 r/min, (e) n = 50 r/min, and (f) n = 60 r/min

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Fig. 13

Mixing time changes with rotational speed of the impeller

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Fig. 14

Mixing effect of the fluid with different fluid viscosities: (a) μ = 10 cps, (b) μ = 30 cps, (c) μ = 50 cps, (d) μ = 60 cps, (e) μ = 80 cps, and (f) μ = 100 cps

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Fig. 15

Mixing time changes with the viscosity of the fluid

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Fig. 16

Experimental equipment

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Fig. 17

Gradient-colored (grayscale gradient) model printed (scale bar 2 mm)

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Fig. 18

Variable stiffness model (scale bar 5 mm)

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Fig. 19

Microscale models: (a) uniform grid and (b) nonuniform grid

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Fig. 20

Different line width patterns printed using the same needle with a diameter of 60 μm (a) 25 μm, (b) 40 μm, (c) 60 μm, and (d) 110 μm

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Fig. 21

Multiscale component printed




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