3D Printing News Unpeeled: Glass and Multi Material SLA

Formnext Germany

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Today we have three exciting research papers to share with you. In a paper in Nature by University of California, Irvine researchers, the mixing of multiple aerosolized materials is discussed. This lets people make novel gradient parts but also lets you discover materials faster. This paper could be an important path to novel parts, properties and new materials.

Another paper explores a new low temperature method to making glass. Glassomer, Luxexcel and others have long explored trying to make optically clear glass for optics, optoelectronics and emerging applications. In sectors like MEMS or microfluidics this kind of a thing would be very valuable. Here, nanoscale processes work at 650°C to make fused silica glass. This is some 500°C degrees lower than other methods. They do this by using a hybrid resin combining inorganic and organic materials in a polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) resin.

Research by Dr Jose Marques-Hueso from the Institute of Sensors, Signals & Systems at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh uses near-infrared (NIR) to enable multilateral SLA. The NIR light force can penetrate parts to over 5CM in the resin vat, allowing materials to be 3D printed out of elastomeric and acrylic materials, for example. The technology works through nanoparticles absorbing light at the focal point of the laser. 

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