US army develops multi-polymer thread for manufacturing especially strong details on standard FFF printers.
The army research laboratory of the command for the development of military capabilities of the US army represented a new type of multi-polymer thread for table extrusion 3D printers.
Typically, parts made using FFF printers do not have high strength and rigidity. The new material will allow military personnel to use low-cost printers to create objects that, after several hours of heating, can achieve mechanical properties that meet the harsh conditions of field operations and are comparable to the properties of injection molded plastics.
A team of researchers from the U.S. Army’s Combat Capability Command laboratory used a new thermal drawing process to produce a filament consisting of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS plastic) with a star polycarbonate core.
Now scientists are experimenting with new pairs of materials, printing conditions, and annealing protocols to further improve mechanical properties and reduce the processing time of finished parts. Their goal is to reduce the current annealing time from 24-48 hours to four or less.
The laboratory has filed several patent applications for the technology and has already received a license for one of them.
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