New book - 'Building a Better World in Your Backyard' - on Kickstarter (sponsored friend)
Thermal properties of 3-D printed polylactic acid-metal composites
| By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.
Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source 3-D printing.
Pearce Publications: Energy Conservation • Energy Policy • Industrial Symbiosis • Life Cycle Analysis • Materials Science • Open Source • Photovoltaic Systems • Solar Cells • Sustainable Development • Sustainability Education
|This page is part of an international project to use RepRap 3-D printing to make OSAT for sustainable development. Learn more.
Research: Open source 3-D printing of OSAT • RecycleBot • LCA of home recycling • Green Distributed Recycling • Ethical Filament • LCA of distributed manufacturing • RepRap LCA Energy and CO2 • Solar-powered RepRaps • solar powered recyclebot • Feasibility hub • Mechanical testing • RepRap printing protocol: MOST• Lessons learned • MOST RepRap Build • MOST Prusa Build • MOST HS RepRap build • RepRap Print Server
- John Laureto, Julie Tomasi, Julia A. King, Joshua M. Pearce. Thermal properties of 3-D printed polylactic acid-metal composites, Progress in Additive Manufacturing 2(1), 57-71 (2017). doi:10.1007/s40964-017-0019-x open access
Standard fused filament fabrication (FFF)-based 3-D printers fabricate parts from thermopolymers, such as polylactic acid (PLA). A new range of metal based PLA composites are available providing a novel range of potential engineering materials for such 3-D printers. Currently, limited material data, specifically thermal property characterization is available on these composites. As a result, the application of these materials into functional engineered systems is not possible. This study aims to fill the knowledge gap by quantifying the thermal properties of copperFill, bronzeFill, magnetic iron PLA, and stainless steel PLA composites and provide insight into the technical considerations of FFF composite 3-D printing. Specifically, in this study the correlation of the composite microstructure and printing parameters are explored and the results of thermal conductivity analysis as a function of printed matrix properties are provided. Considering the relative deviation from the filament raw bulk analysis, the results show the printing operation significantly impacts the resultant component density. Experimentally collected thermal conductivity values, however, do not correlate to the theoretical models in the literature and more rigorous quantitative exercises are required to determine true percent porosity to accurately model the effect of air pore volume fraction on thermal conductivity. Despite this limitation, the thermal conductivity values provided can be used to engineer thermal conductivity into 3-D printed parts with these PLA-based composites. Finally, several high-value applications of such 3-D printed materials that look metallic, but have low thermal conductivity are reviewed.
- Mechanical Properties of Components Fabricated with Open-Source 3-D Printers Under Realistic Environmental Conditions
- The Effects of PLA Color on Material Properties of 3-D Printed Components
- Viability of Distributed Manufacturing of Bicycle Components with 3-D Printing: CEN Standardized Polylactic Acid Pedal Testing
- Environmental life cycle analysis of distributed 3-D printing and conventional manufacturing of polymer products
- Tensile Strength of Commercial Polymer Materials for Fused Filament Fabrication 3-D Printing
- Thermal characterization of three-dimensional printed components for light-emitting diode lighting system applications 
In the News
- Michigan Tech studies 3D printing metal composites with Lulzbot, ColorFabb and Proto Pasta - 3D Printing Industry
- The Quest for 3D Printing Material Data - Machine Design