April 18, 2024
Lucciano Pascucci Oxford Township

Lucciano Pascucci Explores Advancements in 3D Printing Materials

Lucciano Pascucci, owns and operates an Oxford Township-based 3D printing company. In the following article, Lucciano Pascucci takes us deep into the world of advancements in polymers, metals, and composites, discovering the cutting-edge developments that are reshaping industries and unlocking endless possibilities in the realm of additive manufacturing.

Since the 1980s, 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. These advances have improved how we print, the level of detail we print with, and the materials we use.

In the 1980s, the basics of all 3D printing were developed but only with plastic. By the end of the 90s, 3D modeling software had been produced, and printing with metal then became possible. In the decades since, these technologies have evolved, as well as adding composites to the material list.

Lucciano Pascucci explains that additive manufacturing and the materials involved are the future of the industry, from large projects to small ones and everything in between.

Lucciano Pascucci Discusses the Most Common Printing Materials

Lucciano Pascucci says that although there are many different materials available for 3D printing, there are a few that are the most common. These materials are easy to print with, commercially available, and reliable. The most common materials today include:

  • Polymers
  • Metals
  • Composites

Printing with Polymers

Polymers in 3D printing are by far the most common commercial additive manufacturing material. They can take many forms with a variety of properties. Additionally, there are many different printing methods using such polymers.

Lucciano Pascucci reports that of these printing materials, polymers are the oldest. The first 3D printers used stereolithography, also known as SLA, to polymerize resin layer by layer. The next major printing method, selective laser sintering (SLS), used powdered plastic.

By the end of the 1980s, the most common printing method using polymers was patented. This method called fused deposition modeling, uses polymer filaments by melting the end of the filament and then applying it in layers.

There is a reason these printing materials are still common. Printing with polymers has been perfected in the years since.

Manipulating Metals

Another common additive manufacturing material is metal. This material has been used in additive manufacturing for nearly as long as polymers. The first use of metal in 3D printing was in 1994.

Lucciano Pascucci of Oxford Township notes that naturally, only some metals are feasible for 3D printing. Some of the metals used in 3D printing include:

  • Stainless steel
  • Titanium
  • Aluminum
  • Tungsten
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Platinum

Generally speaking, if a metal can be powdered, it can be used for 3D printing. However, the properties of the metal, such as melting point, determine which printing method can be used.

When it comes to using metal materials, the most common methods include direct metal laser sintering, metal fused deposition modeling, and selective laser melting.

Lucciano Pascucci

Considering Composites

Lucciano Pascucci of Oxford Township explains that the newest material used in 3D printing is a collection of multi-material substances. The first 3D printer designed for composites was built in 2014. This printer used a continuous composite as opposed to a chopped composite.

Typically, these composites are polymers with some supporting material. The supporting material can either be included in the polymer as non-continuous shreds or as a continuous strand.

The most common composites in 3D printing use Kevlar, fiberglass, and carbon fiber though there are many others. Composite materials can be incredibly strong. This offsets the comparative difficulty and price in regard to simple polymers or even metal.

Most methods for printing with composites are the same as those for polymers. However, these methods are commonly limited to chopped fibers. Printing continuous fibers requires special printers and methods.

How These Printing Materials Have Advanced

Materials used in additive manufacturing have followed a straightforward development path. Early materials were cheap, easier to work with, and sometimes inefficient. Over time, these materials have been refined or replaced.

Lucciano Pascucci of Oxford Township says that advancing from polymers to metals allowed for new applications due to increased heat resistance and durability. Developing composite 3D printing methods allowed for even more durability and further new applications.

Then there are the materials that are not mentioned above. Scientists have been developing ways to 3D print organs using living cells.

Certainly, each material type has its ideal usage so that no material makes another obsolete. This allows specialization for the materials’ purposes.

Final Thoughts

Additive manufacturing has not been around for a long time when compared to reductive manufacturing–computer-assisted or not. Despite this, 3D printing has revolutionized many aspects of several industries.