Researchers have successfully printed various objects in polymer 3D. However, it is difficult to measure exactly how the polymer behaves in the process - when manufacturing 3d printed parts, it often leads to a lot of trial and error in search of accuracy. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a solution to this problem with a light-based, atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique, called sample-coupled-resonance photo-rheology (SCRPR). This process can be used to measure the performance change of polymer materials in real time with the minimum scale during curing, so as to improve the effect of 3d printed polymer.
The team will continue its research to develop a more sophisticated exposure system to support the description of model print scenarios that occur during the 3D printing process. Killgore added, “We are also working to develop a model of probe sample interaction to allow absolute quantification of material properties during liquid-solid polymerization.”
The researchers also found that atomic force microscopes can combine with 3D printing techniques at different stages of the printing process for part characterization,Killgore noted.