The Role of Direct Ink Writing in Industrial 3D Printing

JuggerBot 3D in Youngstown has developed three techniques for material extrusion 3D printing, which is one of the seven categories of 3D printing recognized in the world, says Dan Fernback, co-founder.

The first technique is Fused Filament Fabrication, or FFF. The long-standing technique is great for a number of applications, Fernback says.

Fused Granulate Fabrication, or FGF, occurs when material in pellet form is extruded in a way similar to injection molding. “This allows for much faster printing with production materials,” he says.

Finally, Direct Ink Writing, or DIW, uses liquid inks that are dispensed under a controlled flow rate on a digitally defined path to create 3D models. Each technique has its own place and purpose, Fernback says.

“Sometimes part size or part geometry is a driving factor,” Fernback says. “But a majority of the time the technique will be decided ultimately by the material that’s best fit for the application.”

Chromatic 3D Materials founder and CEO Core Leibig says her company focuses on the commercialization of industrial-grade, flexible materials for 3D printing, particularly for mechanical process. Chromatic partnered with JuggerBot to develop the printing technology for its process.

“The materials are really the cornerstone of the business,” Leibig says. “Because it reacts as it’s going to be put in place, it allows us to print very solid parts that are flexible and very durable.”

Direct Ink Writing works best for Chromatic because the liquid ink ends up producing a 100% solid piece. However, it does require different printing techniques when compared to a more traditional, more solid filament, she says.

In the latest installment of Tricks of the Tradesman, Leibig shares her thoughts on the benefits of 3D printing in the industrial arena, and where she sees the technology improving and adapting over the years

Watch the video above.

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