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Polymeric Additive Manufacturing: Present

Status and Future Trends of Materials and
Antonio Paesano, Ph. D.

Abstract – The additive manufacturing (AM) industry is models that, while highly complex, were mostly limited to
predicted to maintain a strong growth rate over the next years, prototype parts because of the durability of the resins used.
and exceed $21 billion in sale of products and services by 2020, Also, since specialized tool path programming was not
also thanks to its capacity of innovating and developing required, parts could be made much faster. This is how the
materials with better performance and broader range of
term "Rapid Prototype" became the primary name used to
applications. This paper provides an overview of the polymers
currently used for AM, and the AM processes used with them. describe all types of 3D printing for the early years. It was
It also describes the polymers most likely to be developed in the only after the printed parts become on a par with injection
short term, along with their future properties and process molding for quality and cost (at least for small batches) that
requirements. the name AM would be used.
AM has grown over the last 25 years at a remarkable
Index Terms – Additive manufacturing, development, fused average rate of about 25% per year, and in 2020 the AM
deposition modeling, innovation, laser sintering, material industry is expected to sell $21.2B in products and services
jetting, multi jetting modeling, polymers, stereolithography. [4]. Knowledge about AM has long left the specialized
circles to enter the mainstream media [5].
I. INTRODUCTION Different AM processes are commercially available,
The ASTM F2792 defines additive manufacturing (AM) proving the intense and constant efforts to come up with new
as “a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D patents, and, therefore, the growing vitality of this type of
model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to technology. In fact, the graph in Figure 2 displays the
subtractive manufacturing methodologies. Synonyms: number of AM-related patent applications (higher column in
additive fabrication, additive processes, additive techniques, each year) and granted patents (lower column in each year)
additive layer manufacturing, layer manufacturing, and in the period 1982-2012, and illustrates how the number of
freeform fabrication”. AM is also known as 3D printing. patent applications linked to AM has jumped in recent years,
Some parts made by using AM, or printed parts, are with patents concentrated particularly for healthcare
pictured in Figure 1, where it is easy to appreciate the fine applications, such as dental implants, medical devices, and
details and high degree of complexity achievable, which bone implants. However, the number of granted patents has
constitute some of AM’s strongest advantages. stabilized in most recent years.
ASTM F2792 has also categorized the AM processes into
the following seven areas:
• Binder jetting: a liquid bonding agent is selectively
deposited to join powder materials.
• Directed energy deposition: focused thermal energy
provided by sources like laser, electron beam, or plasma
arc, is used to melt the feedstock within a small area.
This process is currently used for metal parts
• Material extrusion (commonly known as fused
deposition modeling): process in which material is
Figure 1. Parts made from metal AM. selectively dispensed through a nozzle or orifice.

AM was officially born in 1986, when Charles Hull
patented an “apparatus for production of three-dimensional
objects by stereolithography” (US patent 4575330). In 1986,
Hull founded the first company to generalize and
commercialize this procedure, 3D Systems Inc., making

Copyright ©2016 Boeing. All rights reserved.

processes described above. • Unparallel degree of design complexity at no added cost and without the need for complex multi-axis machining vs. and in relatively small quantities. die). dental. Therefore. and examples of companies involved in • Hedge against obsolescence. he AM is employed for: prototypes. performed even from home. etc. Patent applications (red) and patents granted assembly (blue) from 1982 to 2012.) wax. schedule. and example companies for all AM or two. for there is no material removal. and medical applications function. and will grow to more than 80% by 2020. • Reduced waste. waxes 3D Systems. many service agencies are also • Vat photopolymerization (commonly known as available to build parts with a much broader selection of stereolithography): a liquid photopolymer in a vat is processes and materials. The benefits associated with AM are the following: • Virtually unlimited design freedom at no additional cost. metals EOS. allowing for more highly integrated designs where part features can be fabricated as one piece rather than as a multi-part Figure 2. TX). size: no tooling (mold. Photopolymers 3D Systems. presentation models. and allows for structurally efficient shapes similar to structures found in nature. as long as the AM technology maintains its pace in increasing the maximum volume of printable parts. Many parts are needed infrequently COMPANIES Binder jetting Polymers. In most cases. and function needs. and ceramics. exceeding $21bn in sales of products and services by 2020. cut or molded plastic parts. Solidica AM uses hundreds of materials. this paper will focus on polymeric AM for industrial/production market. One way this shortcoming is being addressed is Powder bed fusion Polymers. Furthermore. The AM applications are countless. e. on your bonded to form an object. and plants. models for form. fit. instantaneous selectively cured by light-activated polymerization. and and increasingly for the fabrication of end-use products. particularly on current and future aerospace. Optomec parts. There are two distinct markets for printed parts: a) the However. to biomaterials. and classroom • Sheet lamination: process in which sheets of material are • Convenience: AM can be done in-house. Materials. a leading manufacturer of AM parts. office. 62]. (Belton. aerospace 2 . ExOne. Sheet lamination Paper. like for instance with machining Table 1. significantly reducing • Material jetting: droplets of build material are selectively production ramp-up time. Source: Intellectual Property • High “speed” from a shorter overall process in case of Office of the UK [6] limited quantities and applicable designs (materials. Mcor. requiring often post-processing Arburg operations. 3D Systems.g. to develop techniques to predict the surface roughness of Arcam printed parts using different techniques and models [61. automotive and power generation. metals Fabrisonic. deposition One limiting feature of the AM processes is that the Material extrusion Polymers Stratasys. will be the most likely future application areas for AM. job bidding is available and parts are made in just a day Table 1 lists materials. it is foundry sand Voxelijet challenging to find suppliers that can provide the same Directed energy Metals PM. bones. cost. it is very the AM processes expensive to qualify a new product. b) the polymers for AM. consumer market which comprises home accessories. which includes medical. automotive. no complexity • Minimized or eliminated need for assembly. The the most likely future components made of AM polymers share of money spent on printing final products instead of will be prosthetics (cranial and maxillofacial). Solidscape. Each material is designed to meet specific form. and the printable rate of single parts. and predicts that aerospace. affordably over time. fit. and often a sole AM PROCESS MATERIALS EXAMPLE source is available. virtually covering their Vat photo. Example materials include photopolymer and simplifying the supply chains (lower inventories. Maker Gear surface of current polymeric printed parts is less smooth than Material jetting Polymers. non-load bearing products. metals. and deposited. 3D Systems. from polymerization Envisiontec concrete to chocolate. engineering applications. being a method that is not constrained by design complexity. and AM can be regions of a powder bed. and lead time. David Leigh is the co-founder of Harvest Technologies fashion and entertainment. In aerospace. Boeing Technical Journal prototypes was 28% in 2012. • Relative affordability: small production batches (even • Powder bed fusion: thermal energy selectively fuses one item) are feasible and economical. entire range: from polymers to metals. Objet.

Plot of normalized material property values from Flammability of Plastic Materials). the scanning strategy and laser energy. when investment casting. AM process has been adopted on a glass transition temperature of about −60°C. Table 2 includes commercial polymers mostly used for SLS. and 787 Dreamliner [65] for human body. and the process repeats. therefore it can be used not only in prototypes. input are carefully controlled throughout the process [9]. II. like Lockheed Martin.95  Stereolithography (SLA). a biodegradable polyester with Northrop Grumman. F IZOD. Selective Laser Sintering Materials (ALM) Glass-PA 595 4500 NA 1. compliant with FAR 25. Boeing Technical Journal cabin and cockpit. PA-like plastic.4 118 1.01 Windform XT C-PA 1061 11288 NA NA 348 1. and fuses it with the previous 3D Systems like 220 6961 74 1. temp. along with their major physical-mechanical properties. and bakes the particles together by only fusing Aluminum- powder particles in their “solid state”. such as scaffolds for as well as many unmanned aerial vehicles.853. master patterns for vacuum Douglas Aircraft Company operated a SLA machine from casting. (ft-lb)/in Density. g/cc Modulus. strength. and normalized to the lowest value for each property. better known as nylon. It can be inserted in the parts are F/A-18 Hornet [64]. The AM processes mostly used with polymers are: LS psi Material  Selective laser sintering (SLS).07 PA 615-GS. PA 11  Fused deposition modeling (FDM). and • Polycaprolactone (PCL). therefore the former ones Hardness. The property values in Table 2 were plotted in Figure 3.8 273 1. Materials (ALM) retardant 1345 6700 NA NA 158 1.49 SLS printers lay down a thin layer of plastic powder. is the workhorse for SLS. material price range is $2-8/in3. Examples of Boeing aircrafts featuring consistency at only 60°C. and toxicity performance. It has physical properties of a very Plastic printed parts made by Boeing have been in flight tough. Supplier Solid Concepts PA 12 246 6815 NA 4.82 MPa. Table 2. ksi machine needed to process them. EADS. PA11. and lost patterns for the plaster and ceramic 3D Systems. After the laser has finished tracing one cross. Introduction Impact notched Heat defl. engineered low pressure ducting systems • Polystyrene (PS)-based materials: for automotive and aerospace. a new layer of powder is applied on top. a costly thermoplastic with excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties retained to high temperatures.3M (2014 prices). 3 .01 layers.3-1. PA provides high impact resistance. the materials used often dictate the kind of @ 1. PA6. EOS PA 551 6670 76 NA 291 1.12 187 0.853) • Polyether ether ketone (PEEK). for fabricating patterns for Boeing has been using AM since the 1990’s [8]. PA12  Carbon-filled PA12  Aluminum-filled PA12  Fire retardant PA (compliant with the flammability requirements for compartment interiors set by the Federal Aviation Regulation in the FAR 25.36 particles. Physical-mechanical properties of SLS materials A. [63]. Young's Shore D cannot be discussed without touching on the latter ones. The The printer price range is $0. Solid Concepts. and fatigue endurance. and commercial aircrafts [52]. and production jigs/fixtures [58]. the defense and commercial side respectively. and reabsorbed in three years [13]. used for large number of military [51]. PEEK HP3 PEEK 594 10700 NA NA 482 1. without melting the Alumide.  Prime Cast 101®. STATE OF THE ART OF PROCESSES AND MATERIALS Table 2. PA is available in:  Different grades. elongation to break. but also production parts. and the UL 94 V0 (Standard for Safety of Figure 3. FR 106. automotive dash and trim  Windform PS®. A Duraform EX. smoke. Tens. up to 464°F (240°C). In general. parts not requiring heat resistance. used in carpets and women’s stockings. It also provides fire. excellent hydrolysis resistance. and is currently in the company of other shell casting process [12]. Since SLS requires a precise temperature control. testing casting patterns [11].25 section of the model. associated with moderate cost. to produce complex investment (including under hood and headlight/tail light) pieces. large defense contractors. Advanced Laser B. and melts to a putty-like operation for years. Various polymers are utilized with SLS: • Polyamide (PA). bone regeneration. ABS & PP- laser heats the powder up. Advanced Laser flame  Material jetting.

but low enough to be safely attainable with standard extrusion setups.000 (2014 prices).3 layer is completed. like polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It is selected for AM because its glass transition temperature is high enough to reduce unwanted deformation at slightly elevated temperatures. PS or PE cross-section of the part. The price bonding of two layers. forming a permanent property values. Subsequently. the material is partly melted.1 372 1. F IZOD. It is transparent. Polymeric materials for FDM are: • Acrylonitile butadiene styrene (ABS). and lower layer height than the former. alternative to ABS. allowing some design freedom. with high (Stratasys) direction and the next layer is built on top. Fused Deposition Modeling Hardness. the 4 . mentioned in section B • PS. used with non-AM processes for compact discs. due to higher maximum printing speeds. SLS parts made of PA (left).05 The nozzle moves to produce a one-layer thick cross section PPSF 300 8000 M86 1. Young's Shore D Material The FDM process uses small diameter round feedstock fed from reels. Stereolithography rating. ABS 236 3200 R105 2 169 1. a type of silicone rubber made from a two-component system that is base plus curative [53] • PA. ksi C. Due to the thermal fusion. the material bonds with SLS materials. Boeing Technical Journal Figure 4 displays some parts printed using SLS materials: and hard grades. PEI has higher Figure 5. and impact resistance than ABS. with high impact resistance and toughness. smoke. @ 1. • Polycarbonate (PC). from Lego to luggage). $500. Plot of normalized material property values listed flexibility. resting on a supporting platform if it constitutes the part’s first and bottom layer. The printer price range is $11. In this way a 3D geometry is created one layer (slice) at the time. • Room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone. • Polylactic acid (PLA). Specific gravity Tens. a durable material. mechanical and chemical properties. Physical-mechanical of FDM materials Impact notched Heat defl. leading to smoother surface and higher geometrical resolution. and toxicity (FST) D. and in its characteristics direction. good mechanical strength and resistance to petroleum and solvents • Polyetherimide (PEI). mentioned in section B. and PEEK (right) Table 3. causing the first and top slice of the (polyethylene). Nozzle and The properties values in Table 3 were charted in Figure 5. strength.2 of the part in x and y directions. In the printer. the PEI Ultem 9085 (a PEI-PC blend) is preferred where high flame. of FDM materials ranges from about $3 to $6 per cubic inch. DVDs. A UV-laser traces the plastics. (*) redeyeondemand. (ft-lb)/in Modulus. the building board is lowered in z.000. from Table 3 Particularly. also FDM polymers offer a good range of the layer beneath and solidifies. and psi extruded through a heated nozzle. Figure 4. an expensive amorphous thermoplastic with a great balance of thermal. a ubiquitous thermoplastic (from car bumpers to footwear. it is increasingly very popular as an PA (left) and PEEK (right). temp. Offered in soft (rubbery and flexible) resin to solidify in the respective area. or PPSU): a costly thermoplastic with outstanding heat resistance. As for geometry. When the PC 322 10400 NA 2 307 1. platform move according to 3D-CAD data defining the part and normalized to the lowest value for each property. The material hardens PEI- immediately upon extrusion from the nozzle [9]. a bioplastic produced from corn filling a tank that also includes a platform movable in z- or dextrose. the platform is located closely resemble conventional petrochemical-based mass below the surface of the material. and high strength-to-weight ratio are required The SLA process requires a photosensitive liquid polymer. and “theft-proof” plastic packaging • PC-ABS • Polyphenylsulfone (PPSF.82 MPa.28 PC 330 9800 R115 1 261 1. At the beginning.

They can feature mechanical properties similar to engineering plastics such as ABS. and end-use parts. Figure 7. high tensile strength The properties values in Table 4 are represented in Figure 6. a water-soluble synthetic Figure 6. PE. However. the range of property values provides users and designers with various options.82 MPa.4 120 1.36 HTR = high temperature resistance HYMS = High Young's mod. PC. deflection temperature than SLS and FDM.. but the former value was reported only for a very few materials. F IZOD. and polyether(meth)acrylate-based resins. PA. Plot of material property values from Table 4 polymer. 417 8000 86 0.19 service performance.46 121 1. temp. • Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA).45 255 1. Tens. polypropylene (PP). PP-ABS. and were normalized to the lowest value for each property. in order to make functional prototypes. and. @ 1. designers typically focus on a combination of Somos 8110 UV Epoxy PP. in Young's Shore D Material selecting the most suited AM material for a specific psi Supplier application.13 3D Systems Corp Accura 60 like 420 9135 86 0.21 Huntsman RenShape SL 5530 HTR 532 7850 90 0. SLS and FDM materials are Table 4. Except for hardness and density. Physical-mechanical properties of SLA materials thermoplastics. FDM. g/cc Modulus. ksi Hardness. (ft-lb)/in Young’s modulus but inferior impact resistance and Density. that is UV-curable polymers such as epoxy resins. Support structures are required because of the low stability of the part during the process. In Figure 7 and Figure 8 the range of physical- • PCL [55]. This process is iterated and the following layer is fused to the solidified layer. mechanical property values from Table 2. 5 . in order to avoid any motion of the part while the platform is lowered. and SLA We also point out that the tensile yield strength is preferred to the tensile ultimate strength in designing functional parts. 3. Comparison of values of tensile modulus and strength values of commercial additive manufacturing polymers used in SLS. high-density polyethylene (HDPE). A sweeper blade applies a new film of resin on top of the previously cured layer that is subsequently cured by the UV-laser again.11 cost and the material properties most relevant to the part 3D Systems Corp Accura 25 like 235 5510 80 0. mentioned in section B. Boeing Technical Journal platform is lowered into the resin basin by the thickness of one layer (~5 μm). Polymers employed in SLA are: • Liquid photopolymers. 46 2600 77 1. ABS- Somos Waterclear Ultra 10122 like PC.4 127 1.6 129 1. The part is tied to the platform. strength.4 239 1. The printer price range is $250-575k (2014 prices). feature a superior Impact notched Heat defl. whereas SLA materials are epoxy-based thermosetting resins. used as a dissolvable support material or for special applications [54]. and 4 identified by printing process are plotted. therefore.25 3D Systems Accura PEAK HYMS 653 9800 86 0.

345 0. $$ processes.355 Elastic modulus. illustrates the difference in the actual price of the same part to be 3D printed by the same vendor Figure 12. Part prices versus elastic modulus values using FDM.335 0. Msi Figure 10. Prices versus impact strength values E. that makes them the only available option for specific demanding application. Comparison of values of impact strength notched economical parts. FDM prices of the same part for various materials provided by the same vendor In the case of AM polymers. and heat and chemical resistance. In fact. but they feature an unparallel combination of mechanical properties. The highest price for D80-ST is offset by the fact a rt pprice. $ 1500 1000 500 Figure 9. or highest Young’s modulus alone. we compared the prices for the same part.75 1 (Elastic mod. Normalized part prices across SLA. Part prices versus combination of elastic modulus and impact strength values FDM Quotes 2500 2000 Part price. $ P a rt pric e . 1500 that this material possesses superior mechanical properties and is also stabilized to prevent premature thermal 1000 500 PPart degradation. and SLA 2000 ric e . FDM.35 0. SLS.25 0. Ultem and PPSF are the most expensive of the group. FDM.325 0. and heat deflection temperature values of commercial AM polymers used in SLS.).) * (Imp str.5 0. but 6 . As Figure 11 to Figure 13 illustrate. FDM for 0 the same part quoted by the same 3D printing house 0. Msi * ft-lb/in Figure 11. using materials with the highest combination of Young’s modulus and impact strength. or highest impact strength alone led to the most Figure 8.33 0. whose mechanical properties most relevant to its service performance were rigidity and impact resistance. instead. and SLA FDM Quotes Figure 9 compares the normalized price of the same part 2500 quoted by the same AM house using SLS. even within the same process.34 0. Jetting One example of the jetting process is the version patented by Objet. materials with higher property values do not necessarily result in more expensive parts. Figure 13. Boeing Technical Journal Figure 10. 0 0 0. which is similar to inkjet document printing.

curling. bladders and geometries. and activities in AM polymers. The orientation and location of the fibers within development. maximum of 203°F after thermal post treatment [17]. biggest opportunity in AM” [29]. the hot ABS. such as the presence of water. and improving material. the 3D printer jets dimension is time. The market shape that can later be changed to take on new shape applications will direct the material research and [21]. we don't necessarily know where it's going. A. but they are understandingly secretive about the materials they have will be improved and become more widespread in the next in their pipeline. is a fast rapid prototyping process. or a CNC router type machine [23]. an engineering student designed and The other material involved with a version of the jetting built a 3D printer using: a) LEGO NXT Intelligent process called multi jet modeling [18] is wax. patterns." materials with spatially varying composition or Fortunately. and dental prosthesis. They are made by mixing AM. stem cells are immersed process. and can be F. the following polymers are less commonly used materials appear at extraordinarily fast pace. a future: consulting firm specialized in AM. like • Hot glue. therefore there are resulting in the production of an object fixed in one opportunities for new or improved materials. and easily removed by hand or water [16]. FUTURE MATERIALS spraying tiny droplets of melted liquid material which cool and harden on impact to form the solid object [19]. Indeed. and did not harm the patient. General Requirements Predicting future polymers for AM is difficult. employed for Brick. They are compatible with the acrylic-based photo. The fine layers build up to create or environmental factors. casting mid-sized and large foundry applications. a precise 3D model or prototype that requires no post-curing. reduction in waste. like the extremely low cost of its gun. Tim Caffrey of Wohlers Associates. kidney portions have been replicated using this Various polymeric materials are used for the jetting technology. the 3D printer also jets a gel-like support material which can be laid down layer by layer to form a tissue. where the fourth counterparts. c) fan. It comprises stem cells and cells from a patient. with the medical field playing a major role due the composite determines the degree of shape memory to its number of highly priced applications. d) VHS camera motor. calcium generate tens of compounds. hence customizable features [20]. there is a demand for better materials to use as feedstock for • Shape memory materials. growth of new bone was seen the end product. in order to meet the performance requirements of cells. meaning that the printed objects layers of liquid photopolymer onto a build tray and instantly change shape or self-assemble in response to movement cures them with UV light. One example is AM materials have come from some reports prepared by AM the cross-section of a palm tree. Boeing Technical Journal instead of jetting drops of ink onto paper. featuring a wide range of phosphate and zinc. The greatest advantage of using the hot glue is PP. employed to equipped ports for attaching motors and sensors [24]. and physical-mechanical integrated with a section of undeveloped human bone properties. the performance programmable matter [22]: materials that can morph of the same polymers when used in conventionally fabricated and self-assemble. Multi jet modeling. 7 . In one setup. or engineering-plastics like polymethyl methacrylate glue gun can be connected to a XYZ computer (PMMA). Another term for this type of material is their physical-mechanical performance vs. resulting in continuous gradients. or 4D printing. The hardness values range from Shore A along the structure. The printer features multiple spray nozzles. ranging from standard plastics. agrees: "With 3D • Functionally graded materials (FGMs). this new material dissolved 27 to A 95. materials are considered “the real issue and the polymer fibers into the composite materials used in AM. the effort to gain new applications will can be controlled by heating or cooling the composite drive widening the range of AM polymers. specially designed to uphold overhangs and complicated Human organs such as blood vessels. to the tough and temperature resistant materials. 28]. but also eventually. Another source of control of the material distribution within a monolithic information was papers on the latest academic research structure. The heat deflection temperature can reach a controlled plotter. and production of highly requirements of the majority of commercial products. It contains silicon. With the bio-ink. to simulate various rubber products. air. In one experiment this material was appearance (color. in a biocompatible hydrogel ink. various rigid materials. FGMs are obtained through the computer in order to meet additional requirements. effects like folding. some valuable indications to anticipate future microstructure. casting of powering the printer's extruder and build platform. materials. and minimal post-processing. feel). and/or temperature changes. structurally optimized designs with efficient use of The handful of current AM polymers does not meet the materials. featuring radial density experts from industry and academia [27. In another setup. NXT fine-detail items. same time in specific concentrations and structures to • Bone-like material. and the mix is then polymer technology. and companies with AM equipment than those mentioned above. in about a week. make models of wax-like plastics that are less accurate than SLA objects. because new Currently. that point out gradients resulting in bending stiffness varying across its what topics should be addressed by future material research height. and two materials can be jetted at the printed into their target form. They are printing. stretching or twisting that Broadly speaking. is basically a 32-bit microprocessor and flash memory or thermojet. ubiquitous in nature. Along with the selected model • Bio-ink. III. b) hot glue gun. Advanced Polymers most successful only in the short term.

research directed at reducing the brittleness of the printed hardness are also important. process is already reused. further decreasing epoxies in the cured polymer prototypes [34]. including temperature performance. • Improved mechanical properties. Specifically. SLA polymeric formulations will and consequently making the load transfer between the two be investigated that will meet the growing demand for an components more effective. when added to SLA polymers. a large manufacturer of scale that enables commodity-priced carbon fiber PA. such as UV-curable improved properties will generate more applications. David Leigh believes that custom formulations of existing and elastic modulus. parts. without penalizing the tensile strength and fracture • Other properties. will be achieved not only in single PA (such as PA11. such as polycaprolactone. resulting the price of standard AM polymers to drop. in order to overcome represent a particularly high-value application for AM. but also increase brittleness compared to the unfilled from 1000 MPa to 10. impact resistance. but not all. and on non-toxic materials will continue. but also in new combinations of materials. 39]. To broaden the use. and in fact the patent “Method and Common epoxy-based materials used for SLA are not system for reuse of materials in additive manufacturing suitable for medical applications due to the known irritating systems” was awarded to Stratasys in 2013. must be developed. FGMs will be further developed. Special properties. 3D case of SLA. Efforts will be also made to 8 . stiffen a “matrix” material compatibly with the AM layer-by- pushing the useful life of printed parts further and layer printing pattern that prevents laying a continuous further. for SLS in the short term. 37]. meet the following design demands. We are focused on developing materials of carbon. and hence they have limited usefulness in high increasing the adhesion at the interface between PA and CB. To do this. More and cytotoxic (that is resulting in cell damage or cell death) sustainable materials including recycled.” [59] reduce or close the gap in mechanical performance between Many current SLA resins have softening temperatures SLS parts and extruded or molded parts. they improve the This is not just better properties. and SLS materials like PA12. providing additional functionality [27].000 MPa in flexural modulus! A resin [38. with a print head [58]. and the new in a wider range of softer to stiffer materials than the current materials should be competitively priced. in the of properties that can be addressed with 3D printing. but also a wider variety mechanical properties of the printed part. One challenge is material cost and production on a Sales and Marketing of 3D Systems. and electrical properties [36. PEKK. reusable. and effects on human cells. reinforcement in the z direction across the part layers. resulting mainly from uncured biodegradable materials will emerge. have higher tensile modulus and impact strength compared 3D Systems careful evaluated new application areas for to SLS parts in PA12/nanosized carbon black (CB) [40]. Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymers (CFRPs) the materials. like tensile strength. “To achieve this. and PA12) and PEKK will be available materials for AM. the focus will continue to be on increasing the functionality of B. therefore we expect in the next future material huge range! But ranges of ductility. extend their applications. We constitute one area of development for AM polymers. aiming at possibly under 100°C. and work on electrical properties carbon nanofiber reinforced materials will aim primarily at the development of hybrid printers that • Liquid-crystal polymers (LCPs) could fuse material with a laser and print conductive material • Biodegradable materials. epoxy resins. chemical resistance or other.” he explains. to extend the range of manufacturing A class of CFRPs comprises polymers reinforced with application. Improvements in specific properties. We believe that Similarly. such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs). such as better mechanical properties and higher are already available. “materials must carbon nanomaterials. Currently. CNTs raise the tensile strength and fracture Systems offers a wide range of materials now that range stress. flame retardants and filled/fiber composites will be provided. There is large and qualified consensus [28] that the most He also expects that most of the future focus on material likely AM polymers in the next future will comprise: properties will be directed to medical grade and high • Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs). VP of Global Materials with AM. CNTs mechanically and dimensionally stable over time. which are rolled-up one-atom thick sheets (called grapheme) • High stability. PA. and Al2O3-PP [33] for SLS. and enabling also graded geometries through the part’s volume. stress. In fact PA not melt during the SLS use temperatures. The studies materials costs [30]. Boeing Technical Journal More competition among materials providers will cause AM resin type curable at a broader UV bandwidth. whereas in the longer term better such as the current iron-ABS and copper-ABS for FDM [31] formulations of PEEK. Adding nanomaterials is a way to reinforce and that are more stable over longer and longer durations. these severe problems of the biological incompatibility. thermal. Reusable materials performance. medically related. conventionally fabricated parts in pure PA12 important for enabling new and emerging applications. materials must be environmentally. temperature applications. unless their options. 3D printers based on FDM and polyjet technologies. a few options exist for carbon-fiber parts made According to Stephen Hanna. We believe that comprehensive up-to-date overview of CNT applications to improvements in these areas will greatly increase AM is provided in [35]. be they electrical. mechanical. could be As to SLS. new SLA resins with improved performance justifies a price premium. and blends including and PP-zirconia (ZrO2) [32]. adoption and applicability of 3D printing to CNTs are already added to polymers to improve their manufacturing applications. and a have this in some materials. 3D printing and will focus material developments to hence work will be likely carried out with PA12 and CB to enable those where there is significant potential.

and reduce the A class of LCPs for SLA that will be still studied in the fraction of particles not melt during the process. Other Materials requirement. such as presentation models. They exist in a state that has properties between could provide designers with insightful information those of conventional liquid and those of solid crystal. • Enhancing dispersion of CNTs in the matrix has been a challenge for some time [42] and still is. properties such as the flexural modulus. the polymer chains undergo parallel ordering in the performance. 45]. Liquid Crystal Polymers (LCPs) The design of printed parts is at its early stage. Future Area of Study C. printed parts is not exactly the same as that of parts produced mechanical. influenced by the nanomaterial will enable a cure throughout the part. in order to improve mechanical applications. bio-ink must be stiff enough to hold its shape accuracy during fabrication. nanomaterials can be functionalized with a host of new applications. after printing to prevent the material from oozing into a Because varying the loadings of nanomaterials during the shapeless mass. nanostructure [47]. and resistant to high temperature. focusing also on understanding the influences of shear forces as they come out of the printer head. Studies will be one hand. where the surface roughness opposing properties that make it complicated to handle. On significantly affects the drag coefficient [41]. Predicted dates for frequent use of LCPs and • Reducing the porosity of SLS parts. ultimately improving the properties of the final • Thermal conductivity parts. which is already available. print enables to fabricate parts with graded material Also on innovation watch list is AM of silicone properties. and compounded polymers. the diffusion of nanomaterials in AM current ProPell™. and ultimately 9 . with the goal to raise properties such as porosity of a failed polycarbonate FDM part analyzed by the glass transition temperature (and hence the maximum Boeing BR&T Philadelphia. In fact Figure 14 illustrates the significant developed [44. a compound of thermoplastic PU. introduced recently by if improved materials are to be formulated: Foster Corporation for improved medical catheters [48]. On the parameters affecting surface roughness. LCPs are already used with surface analysis of printed parts may require some SLA. and applications has to overcome the following challenges [35]. LCPs are a class of aromatic polyester polymers. with superior mechanical through conventional processes. and the be used to control polymer structure at the nanometer scale average roughness Ra can be as low as Ra = 8. and optical properties. printing nozzle without damaging cells that are subjected to PA12. tunnel testing models. investigating the failure mode of printed parts and molded. ability to absorb the UV light. (DuraForm PA by 3D Systems). such as the On the other hand. and “size” of the raw material. Lower porosity LCPs 2020 2020 translates into higher mechanical properties. and in fact One polymer family likely to be more common with AM design guides for printing parts have recently started by is LCPs. and new liquid-crystal resins will continue to be customization. LLCs have been recently studied to and for SLS the typical layer thickness is 60-200 um. and lose their unique properties. such as in the case of wind but requires further development. where the surface is functional. companies using AM and seeking to maximize its benefits. polyether block amide (PEBA). inert. Table 5. like commercial aircraft cockpit organic linker molecules keeping the particles away indoors [28]: from each other. • Electrical conductivity • Because the cure depth of SLA parts can be adversely • Self-healing properties affected by the presence of nanomaterials due to their • Recyclability. or PA11 [43]. To increase to feature improvements in the following properties. Future Polymer Properties of the particles makes the nanomaterials behave as a There is consensus that the future AM polymers will have bulk. even when embedded into the printing • Fire resistance media. and fracture toughness. graded materials will also be further studied. that can be melted Therefore. and dimensional other hand. Surface quality is obviously important in applications where appearance is a D. but also in others One future material is bio-ink. resulting in anisotropic physical. and the shell of the printing CFRPs 2017 2017 material. The cross section morphology of polymeric direction of the flow. F. Agglomeration E. opening dispersion. finding the ideal Table 5 contains the predicted dates when LCPs and wavelength that will solidify the polymer without being CFRPs will have frequent use in FDM and SLS [28]. Upon instrumental to take full advantage of material and part melting.5 um and ultimately improve material properties [46]. near future is the lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs): a material The surface quality of 3D printed parts depends on the is called lyotropic if it forms liquid crystal phases upon the specific process resolution. Boeing Technical Journal find the optimal printing conditions for CB powder blended gaining new uses like under-the-hood automotive with PA12 powder. and hence the fracture properties in the flow direction. to overcome its key. for example by CFRPs in FDM and SLS synthesizing core-shell nanostructures. bio-ink must be fluid enough to flow through the conducted to improve the surface finish of PA12/CNFs vs. addition of a solvent. with the core MATERIALS FDM SLS made of nanomaterial. service temperature). such as PA12.

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authored and co-authored 50 technical papers. physical-mechanical testing and analysis. Prior to Boeing. http://dx. 66 Iss 6 pp. and BR&T Spain. (1994). He is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt. ecoDemonstrator. additive manufacturing. and contributed to two chapter books.1108/eb037529 [64] http://www. 787. he worked for Dow and the University of Delaware. and a trained Back Belt. RTLS-RFID. uses/ BIOGRAPHY Antonio Paesano has been with Boeing since 2010 as a Manufacturing R&D engineer. He holds a Ph. Six aircraft-imperative [65] https://3dprint. the other on engineering materials. 20-35. 12 . and test method development. supporting V-22. and LIFT! programs. measurements and analysis. one on design. and a specialization degree in Polymer Science.additivemanufacturing. H-47. in mechanical engineering. always in R&D. He holds two FOD control. He is active in composite materials. EMARSS. Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology.doi. Boeing Technical Journal [63] "Aerospace Production". material properties-performance relationship.