Foam rubber for 3D printing increases 40 times (video)

Using volume printing becomesthe usual and extremely effective way to create structures and objects in various fields of industry, healthcare, agriculture and culture. However, when printing large parts, certain difficulties arise associated with a feature of 3D printing technology: the size of the printed object should always be smaller than the printer itself.

Currently, when printing large parts,used in industry, aircraft or space industry, it is necessary to create individual 3D printers of a sufficiently large size. Another approach is to combine many small parts into one large, which negatively affects the strength properties of the final structure.

Engineers and designers offer variousTechniques to address this drawback of 3D printers. Scientists from the University of San Diego (USA) have proposed using foam rubber as a base material for large parts, which can increase in volume by 40 times.

3D foam technologyrubber allows you to first "print" objects of small sizes, in accordance with the parameters of printers. However, then, after appropriate processing, the size of the objects will increase up to 40 times, and reach the required size. Parts can be welded or glued together without reducing the strength characteristics.

Such technology may find application inconstruction, architecture, medicine, aerospace industry and energy. The low density of expandable polymer rubber material also opens up the possibility of using the technology in shipbuilding.
Currently, the technology is at the testing stage and is one of the promising directions for the development of future 3D printing.

Source: ACS