Additive manufacturing methods are becoming more prominent in the world of design and manufacturing due to their reduction of material waste versus traditional machining methods such as milling. The technology to 3D print has been around since the 1970’s. In today’s present time, we now can multi-material 3D print, however. even though we have the technology for multi-material 3D printing, standards in this field are severely lacking. Research on multi-material 3D printing and/or the combination of 3D printing filaments combined with nanoparticles is needed. One of the most common methods of 3D printing is fused deposition modeling (FDM). In this research, FDM was used to dope Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), to introduce conductive properties for strain measurements.
The researchers in this paper used N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidinone (NMP) to bind the selected nanoparticles. In the first experiment the researchers tested the conductivity of the strain gages, while in the next experiment they studied the effect the various nanoparticles had on the stiffness of the 3D printed ABS strain gages. This extensive and detailed study concluded several points. First, nickel nanoparticles consistently yields the least amount of resistance. Second, multiple binder doped nanoparticle layers yield the lowest resistance. Third, NMP, does indeed improve the performance of the nanoparticles. Finally, the research demonstrated that the various nanoparticles used, when bound increased the stiffness of the ABS strain gages.