A 3D printer can build an “egghead” from an egg — essentially a 3-D model that looks like an actual egg — that was printed from a standard printer.
The new technique is described in a paper in the journal Nature Communications.
“There are many ways to build 3D models from materials, but they are generally limited to materials that are easy to print and easy to transport, and that’s what you want when you’re building a 3d printed object,” said lead author David St. Laurent, a materials science professor at Purdue University.
“We wanted to build a 3 d printable egghead that was more versatile, easier to print, and was durable.”
A printer can print a 3.5-inch-diameter object, such as an egghead, from materials like PLA (Polylactic Acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), and then print a similar object, for example, from ABS.
St. Louis, who is a materials scientist at Purdue, and his colleagues wanted to create a more durable 3D printed egghead with a more flexible and flexible filament.
A 3D printable 3-dimensional model of a 3:1 replica of a real-world egghead.
The 3D model shows how the printed filament can move.
Credit: Purdue UniversityThe team printed a 3,600-county-wide filament from the polycarbonate-based polymer known as polyester-3, which is an excellent material for printing.
The team then combined polyester with the plastic-based nylon to create an even greater 3D object.
The printer can be scaled up to fit a 10-pound 3-pound egghead — which is around 10 times bigger than the current record holder, the 3.75-pound “Big Egg,” that was built from a plastic egghead from a printing machine.
This 3D printing technique can scale up to about 3-foot in diameter.
St. Louis said the process is a great way to get more realistic models of 3D objects, such a Lego or Disney characters, because you can build them with a printer that can print multiple layers of the same 3D structure.
The printer can also print multiple 3D shapes at once — creating the ability to create complex 3D structures with smaller, more manageable 3D prints.
St Louis said that the printer can generate a model of an egg head using a single layer of the polymer, which allows the researchers to print multiple egg heads, and then to print out multiple layers at once, for a much more robust and durable 3d model.
The research was funded by Purdue, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation.
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