Photocurable polymers for 3d printing

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Alashqar, Zaid
Mahapatro, Anil
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Additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, and 3D printing are three interchangeable terms that describe creating layers upon layers to form an object from a computer aided design (CAD). Additive manufacturing (AM) has a direct and positive effect on manufacturing due to its ability to shorten supply chains and continually improve manufacturing processes [1]. In recent years, the shift towards additive manufacturing has increased due to its cost effectiveness and ability to produce tailored products at a higher rate [2]. In addition, the ability for additive manufacturing to carry on without the need for cutting tools and coolants gives an advantage for AM over traditional manufacturing methods. However, there are many limitations keeping AM from being used as a primary method in produce final parts and assemblies in various industries. Limitations such as the lack of repeatability in the printed objects, the need for post processing and the high cost and limitation of raw materials. Therefore, the limitations in materials need to be addressed and a new, environmentally friendly material needs to be developed for photolithography. The objective of this thesis is to develop a novel, biomedically relevant resins suitable for photolithography 3D printing. To do that, stereolithography and digital light processing were studied and compared. The effect of printing parameters and post processing times on the properties of the final objects was investigated for both techniques to help further understand the concept of photolithography. After that, four resin formulations with various molar ratios were used to develop photocurable raw material for 3D printing. The results showed that the structural and thermal properties of the final printed object can be enhanced as a result of decreasing the layer height and increasing the time of post processing. Furthermore, photocurable resins were developed and cured in a UV curing chamber. The results showed a high degree of curing and percent yield for the developed resins.

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Thesis (M.S.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
Wichita State University
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