For a long time, printing using fiber filled material was a huge challenge for designers. Once the basics of the process were established, manufacturers started getting more creative and exotic in additive manufacturing processes that use fibers. Team of researchers have now created a nozzle used in the printhead that can actually change the shape. By doing this, nozzles are directly changing the orientation of fiber. As a result, parts manufactured using engineered fiber orientation material will greatly increase in strength.
- Developed at UMD, the morphing nozzle has side actuators that inflate like a balloon.
- The Rotational DIW process has been used in aerospace, but rarely for 3D printing.
- Researchers from ETH Zurich, Spain and Harvard are also working on improving printheads.
“Unlike conventional printheads, the team’s device features novel side actuators that allow it to change shape during printing, and effectively re-orientate a material’s fibers.”