5.14.2020

New method to improve strength of 3D printed part and improve layer adhesion

So, inspired by this article, I decided to try my hand at improving 3D printed parts.  As we know the weak spot of 3D printing is adhesion between layers.  The plastic is heated to it's melting point before laying a layer however it typically cannot be overheated too much because the plastic will degrade.  Heating the interface to promote adhesion is a good way to improve adhesion.  Another way can be the introduction of solvents into the plastic either mixed in or microencapsulated or other additives to promote bonding.

This method I will lay out will use one or more of several factors to improve the effective heat between the bonding all without any expensive or difficult external things like plasmas and spraying graphene.

There are 4 new factors I think are worth improving.  Heat transfer coefficient of the extruded polymer, Heat capacity of the extruded polymer, Heat capacity/transfer of the environment, and effective temperature limit of the extruded polymer.

For the first factor, heat transfer coefficent of the extruded polymer, we want to formulate the 3D printer filament to be able to be less insulative and transfer heat faster than it is currently able.  By transferring heat faster then the heated filaments can "melt into" previous layers better.  This can be done by using additives to the filament plastic that can transfer heat very efficiently like diamond dust or graphene or anything else or combinations of additives.  Also the polymer molecules themselves can be modified with elements that can improve heat transfer coefficient.

Secondly heat capacity of the extruded polymer can be improved.  Like the first factor, improving heat capacity means there is more heat in the recently extruded plastic to melt the layer below to promote adhesion.  Water is a good one for this and many other additives.

Heat capacity.transfer of the environment is also important, and what better way to promote heat transfer between layers than to keep ambient temperature elevated?  Also steam in the air will help with not only heat transfer between layers but also perhaps bringing hydrophilic compounds in the melted plastic to the surface such as graphene.  Plasma environment can also help and particular charges on the plasma, say positive, can bring components of the polymer such as graphene to the surface as well.

And finally we can change the polymer molecules or add additives to improve the temperature of decomposition of the plastic.  The higher we can heat the plastic without degrading it, the better layer adhesion will be.  Putting in additives that promote stability perhaps reducing agents, things like graphene, and any other additive or molecular change to the polymer that can promote stability can allow us to overheat more and promote layer adhesion.


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