Amidst an explosion of 3D innovation, 3D hardware, software and more, many users have now too become engaged in the study of materials. While 3D printing with plastic is still extremely common, we’ve now seen more alternative materials than we can count, from chocolate to glass to paper or even silk.

For robotics applications, Russian scientists at the Kabardino-Balkarian State University laboratory have gone back to improving on 3D printing with plastics, creating a new and versatile material with polymers. The multifunctional polymers are meant to improve on 3D printing not only of robotics but also drones and prostheses—with the possibilities open for much more.

Robots are already being created with a variety of materials, even to include living tissue and hydrogel. The world of drones continues to progress, and often with 3D printing, with PLA and embedded electronics. And it’s hard to imagine what prosthetics would be without 3D printing today, offering opportunity through incredible affordability and the hard work of so many volunteers through organizations like e-NABLE. There have also been many other notable innovations in the world of prosthetics, integrating complex robotics.

  • Reduction of production stages
  • Higher efficiency
  • Low spoilage in production process
  • Higher levels of material purity

“By using our material in 3D printing, prostheses, created for individual characteristics of a particular person, could be printed. It [polymer material] could also be used for printing drones, powered exoskeletons, machine components, complex parts of robotic devices and elements of a space suit,” said Svetlana Kashirova, the head of the Kabardino-Balkarian State University laboratory.

Again, nearly all the benefits of 3D printing area at play in the latest Russian research. For this ongoing project, the new polymers being 3D printed will allow for a simpler design process, along with more efficient production overall. Objects being created will have less parts and connections, along with ‘high biological inertness,’ a characteristic which the scientists think will make the material attractive for use in the medical field.

“Such materials are chemically, fire, heat and frost-resistant. They could be used in environments with high temperature and radiation exposure levels. That is why the usage of the new material is quite broad — the aviation and space industry, machine engineering, the oil and gas industry as well as others,” said Kashirova.

“Unfortunately, the Russian 3D-printers of this level are not available, and all printers foreign production focused on the use of own materials and limit the user to change the parameters and the possibility to experiment with technological modes of 3D-printing,” said Kashirova.

“In this regard, within the framework of the project we are working with accomplices develop Russia’s first 3D-printer for layering laser fusion of high performance polymers, can significantly extend the ability to manage 3D-printing process and print articles from powders of high performance polymers and materials based on them. I note that our laboratory has developed not only the polymer, but also composite materials based on these polymers.”

This dedicated 3D printer will be targeted to provide a solution to the issue the team has seen arise.

“Besides offering solutions to scientific problems, the 3D printer is planned for use in solving practical problems, such as making components for underwater and terrestrial robots. The first Russian 3D printer to work with engineering polymers and their composites will soon be made,” stated representatives from FPI.

Established in 2012, one of FPI’s missions is in helping scientists involved in research relevant to government security. Their efforts span both military and socio-economic areas. Discuss in the Russia forum at 3DPB.com.

[Sources: RIASputnik News / Images: Foundation for Advanced Studies via RIA]

 

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