Additive manufacturing, also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, is an approach in which a structure may be fabricated layer by layer. For 3D inkjet printing, droplets are ejected from a nozzle and each layer is formed droplet by droplet. Inkjet printing has been widely applied for the fabrication of 3D biological gel structures, but the knowledge of the microscale interactions between printed droplets is still largely elusive. This study aims to elucidate the alginate layer formation process during drop-on-demand inkjet printing using high speed imaging and particle image velocimetry. Droplets are found to impact, spread, and coalesce within a fluid region at the deposition site, forming coherent printed lines within a layer. Interfaces are found to form between printed lines within a layer depending on printing conditions and printing path orientation. The effects of printing conditions on the behavior of droplets during layer formation are discussed and modeled based on gelation dynamics, and recommendations are presented to enable controllable and reliable fabrication of gel structures.
- Manufacturing Engineering Division
Study of Layer Formation During Droplet-Based 3D Printing of Gel Structures
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Christensen, K, & Huang, Y. "Study of Layer Formation During Droplet-Based 3D Printing of Gel Structures." Proceedings of the ASME 2017 12th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference collocated with the JSME/ASME 2017 6th International Conference on Materials and Processing. Volume 4: Bio and Sustainable Manufacturing. Los Angeles, California, USA. June 4–8, 2017. V004T05A019. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/MSEC2017-3050
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