A new 3D printable polymer nanocomposite ink has incredible properties – and many uses in aerospace, medicine, and electronics.
Kelley Christensen, Science Writer and Project Strategist, University Marketing and Communication, MTU23.09.21
Mechanical engineering researchers at Michigan Technological University have created a way to make a 3D printable nanocomposite polymer ink that uses carbon nanotubes (CNTs) – known for their high tensile strength and lightness. This revolutionary ink could replace epoxies – and understanding why their properties are so amazing is a first step towards mass adoption. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is more versatile and efficient than casting. It adds a material with precision, often in complex geometries, with significantly less excess trimming away. The addition of low-dimensional nanomaterials such as CNTs, graphene, metal nanoparticles and quantum dots enables 3D-printed materials to adapt to external stimuli and give them properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity, magnetism and electrochemical storage. But 3D printing with plastic, metal, or anything else entirely isn’t new. What tech researchers have done differently is using polymer nanoco