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Direct 3D printing of low melting point alloy via adhesion mechanism

Yongze Yu (Beijing Key Laboratory of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering and Key Laboratory of Cryogenics, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)
Fujun Liu (Beijing Key Laboratory of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering and Key Laboratory of Cryogenics, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)
Jing Liu (Beijing Key Laboratory of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering and Key Laboratory of Cryogenics, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 18 April 2017

780

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a method that can directly print low-melting-point alloy In61Bi26Sn9Ga4 into a variety of macroscopic 3D structures at room temperature via adhesion mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

In the first section, the principle of the direct printing system is described. As process parameters and material properties have both geometric and physical significance to printing, the approach the authors take is to study the relationships between key parameters and ultimate printed dimension. The surface tension of the fusible alloy is measured under different temperature ranges.

Findings

The interaction between the initial standoff distance and the geometry of the first layer is critically important for the adhesion of the liquid metal to the substrate and metal deposition. The characterization of the layer stacking in the direct printing process, stability ranges of the layer thickness and printing speed are also demonstrated. The direct printing system is suitable for making 3D structures with low-melting-point alloy under the summarized range of printing conditions.

Social implications

This study may arouse big public attention among society.

Originality/value

This study shows possibilities of manufacturing macroscopic 3D metal objects by continuously depositing molten alloy with low viscosity and high surface tension around room temperature. This study provides a supplement to realize compound printing with metal and nonmetal materials together for building terminal functional devices in a low cost and efficient way.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Funding (Under Grant No. Z151100003715002) and Key Project Funding of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Citation

Yu, Y., Liu, F. and Liu, J. (2017), "Direct 3D printing of low melting point alloy via adhesion mechanism", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 642-650. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-12-2015-0185

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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