University of Texas at El Paso
Though over twenty years old, the 3D printing technology of material extrusion additive manufacturing, also known as fused deposition modeling, relies mainly on off the shelf thermoplastic material systems that have been minutely tweaked to be compatible with the platform. The technology could be rapidly expanded through the adoption of novel material systems with a wider array of physical properties. Two strategies for creating novel material systems have been generally employed: 1) the development of novel polymer blends and; and 2) the development of novel polymer matrix composites. To reach the full potential, any developed material system should have a physical property that is tunable. The following work entails the development of three material systems with three distinct tunable properties: 1) radiation shielding; 2) toughness; and 3) shape memory. Motivation behind the development of each material system is presented. Materials characterization efforts including mechanical testing and electron microscopy are also highlighted. The end result is a demonstration of increasing the applicability of material extrusion additive manufacturing through the development of novel material systems.