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Defects in 3D printed parts can cause tremendous failures in a finished component. Luckily, new research from Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, has gleaned a new way of detecting faults.
By introducing gold nanoparticles into the 3D printer material, researchers can now quickly scan parts to help predict failures before they happen.
Possibilities - Technology - Kane - Jennings - Co-author
“There are tremendous possibilities for what we can do with this technology,” explains Kane Jennings, co-author of the study and Vanderbilt professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
“WE HAVE DEMONSTRATED THE 3D PRINTED PARTS CAN BE SELF-REPORTING. THEY SELF-REPORT DEFECTS. WE’RE LOOKING NOW AT THE POSSIBILITY TO DO EVEN MORE WITH THESE SMART MATERIALS.”
Vanderbilt - Study - Gold - Nanoparticles - Polymer
In the Vanderbilt study, gold nanoparticles are dissolved within a polymer. When this dries it is shredded, then melted a second time so it can be extruded as a filament. The process ensures that gold particles run all the way through the material.
The filament is used to 3D print an object as normal on a desktop FFF/FDM 3D printer. Then afterwards it is scanned using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy.
Process - Spectrophotometer - Records - Reflections - Gold
A non-invasive process, the UV-Vis spectrophotometer records reflections from the gold nano particle content. Based on the information received in this reading, the scientific team can then make an informed decision about potential faults in the part.
How does it work?
Cole - Brubaker - Engineering - Graduate - Student
Cole Brubaker, civil engineering graduate student at Vanderbilt, is lead author of the study. Explaining how the process works, Brubaker says, “We’re using...
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