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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Jul 11;10(27):23353-23361. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b19818. Epub 2018 Mar 16.

Viscoplastic Matrix Materials for Embedded 3D Printing.

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering , Princeton University , Princeton , New Jersey 08544 , United States.
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering , Harvard University , Cambridge , Massachusetts 02138 , United States.
Department of Mechanical Engineering , KAIST , Daejeon 34141 , South Korea.


Embedded three-dimensional (EMB3D) printing is an emerging technique that enables free-form fabrication of complex architectures. In this approach, a nozzle is translated omnidirectionally within a soft matrix that surrounds and supports the patterned material. To optimize print fidelity, we have investigated the effects of matrix viscoplasticity on the EMB3D printing process. Specifically, we determine how matrix composition, print path and speed, and nozzle diameter affect the yielded region within the matrix. By characterizing the velocity and strain fields and analyzing the dimensions of the yielded regions, we determine that scaling relationships based on the Oldroyd number, Od, exist between these dimensions and the rheological properties of the matrix materials and printing parameters. Finally, we use EMB3D printing to create complex architectures within an elastomeric silicone matrix. Our methods and findings will both facilitate future characterization of viscoplastic matrices and motivate the development of new materials for EMB3D printing.


3D printing; embedded three-dimensional printing; particle image velocimetry; rheology; viscoplasticity


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