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Novel 3D printer makes use of ultrasound vibration to provide elements from recycled ABS with improved properties

Researchers at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) have developed a 3D printer that’s able to producing extra resilient elements from recycled ABS. 

By mounting two piezoelectric transducers to an strange gantry Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, the engineers have managed to develop a way of reversing a few of the discount in power typically exhibited by recycled ABS.

Given the efficacy of their design, which is able to bettering the compression power of elements produced from reused materials by 59%, the crew say it might assist reduce the quantity of environmentally-damaging filament that goes to landfill. 

The researchers' ultrasound 3D printing setup. Photo via UTeP.
The researchers’ ultrasound 3D printing setup. Picture through UTeM.

Bettering FFF’s materials effectivity 

Whereas 3D printing is commonly marketed as being extra material-efficient than subtractive manufacturing applied sciences, it’s not with out its personal points on this space. As any desktop 3D printer person will let you know, print errors could be costly in addition to time consuming, as a result of quantity of fabric they waste. On condition that many of those plastics are wastefully disposed of, they’re additionally an environmental hazard. 

A technique that makers and producers have tried to enhance the effectivity of their methods is through the recycling of ABS, a fabric that’s already widespread among the many 3D printing group. Nevertheless, as highlighted by the UTeM crew of their paper, “the mechanical properties of recycled ABS are markedly degraded,” and reusing the fabric can cut back its last power after printing by as much as 49%. 

This weakening, which the researchers recognized by means of their very own recycled ABS testing, was discovered to be as a consequence of poor interlayer bonding. Such delamination may cause ensuing supplies inside injury, in a means that leads them to fail when 3D printed, thus making them an unappealing different to throwaway filaments. 

The scientists' tensile strength testing results. Image via UTeP.
The scientists’ flexural power testing outcomes. Picture through UTeM.

Turning to ultrasound vibration 

Having developed their very own recycled materials, by granulating used ABS earlier than extruding it right into a 1.75 mm filament, the UTeM researchers then proceeded to 3D print it into samples with a prototype piezoelectric transducer-fitted FFF machine, designed to make use of ultrasound vibration as a way of bettering its stability.

Though preliminary fashions produced at a nozzle temperature of 230°C had been discovered to exhibit floor defects, the engineers went on to establish that elevating this parameter to 270°C and lowering print pace rectified these points. The crew additionally found that exposing elements to ultrasound vibration at 20 kHz frequencies “enormously improved the adhesion of recycled layers.”

This proved the case when it got here to bettering the flexural power and modulus of their printed objects, which had been 43% and 53% larger than in unexposed elements respectively. The researchers’ outcomes had been later confirmed throughout tensile power testing, through which supplies handled at 20 kHz had a power of 27.5 MPa, round 24% and 19% larger than these uncovered to 10 kHz and people untreated totally.

Following their preliminary examine’s success, the researchers are planning to make their design open-source. In doing so, the crew goals to make the addition of ultrasonic transducers to FFF 3D printers as straightforward as doable, and assist drive the adoption of recycled ABS as a extra viable different to standard single-use supplies. 

“Total, [our] method is a viable possibility for the higher use of printed supplies and, with the help of ultrasound vibration, it improves the mechanical properties of recycled ABS,” conclude the crew of their paper. “Subsequently, this examine exhibits super potential for sustainable administration of ABS waste by means of recycling, in any other case an growing burden on useful resource and landfill websites.”

NC State's proof-of-concept 3D printed meniscus. Photo via NC State
A proof-of-concept meniscus produced utilizing an ultrasonic 3D printing course of. Picture through North Carolina State College.

Making waves within the 3D bioprinting sector 

The UTeM crew might have recognized a polymer 3D printing utility of ultrasound waves, however the know-how is extra conventionally used inside 3D bioprinting. In March 2021, scientists on the College of Bathtub and College of Bristol got here up with an acoustic power pushed bioprinting course of with tissue engineering potential.

The know-how was paying homage to that developed by researchers at North Carolina State College round two years earlier, which concerned utilizing ultrasound to rearrange cells in 3D bioprinting gels. Of their paper, the crew prompt the approach might enhance the constancy of synthetic tissues in comparison with their organic equivalents, in a means that allows them to handle wound therapy purposes. 

Elsewhere, Concordia College scientists have additionally uncovered a way of deploying ultrasound in polymer 3D printing. In essence, the crew’s know-how includes utilizing sound waves to create sonochemical reactions in minuscule cavities and produce advanced elements that may’t be achieved utilizing present strategies. 

The researchers’ findings are detailed of their paper titled “Investigation of Mechanical Properties of Recycled ABS Printed with Open Supply FDM Printer Built-in with Ultrasound Vibration.” The examine was co-authored by Maidin S, Ting Okay. H. and Sim Y. Y.

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Featured picture exhibits the researchers’ experimental ultrasound 3D printing setup. Picture through UTeM.



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