Direct-Ink-Writing (DIW) is an extrusion-based additive manufacturing method heavily utilized in meso- and micro-scales. In DIW, the liquid-phase “ink” is dispensed out of small nozzles under controlled flow rates and deposited along digitally defined paths to fabricate 3D structures layer-by-layer. Our research focuses on various key fundamental questions about the process:
- What thermofludic mechanisms govern the flow and deposition of the inks?
- How are these mechanisms determined by the material properties and process parameters such as printing speed, nozzle-substrate distance, flow rate etc.?
- How do these mechanisms impact the printed part properties including their geometry, micro-structure, electrical and thermal conductivities and mechanical properties?
- What are the key factors impacting process accuracy, resolution, repeatability and throughput and how can these factors be controlled?
We study the DIW of a wide variety of materials with drastically different properties leading to drastically different process mechanisms. We primarily focus on:
- Polymer nanocomposites consisting of a polymer matrix and nanoparticles including carbon based ones such as carbon nanotubes, graphene flakes.
- Alloys and pure metals with melting points up to 700 degrees Celsius
See below videos demonstrating on DIW of different materials. For further details check out our recent publications below: