Light-Based Printing of Leachable Salt Molds for Facile Shaping of Complex Structures
- Journal Article
3D printing is a powerful manufacturing technology for shaping materials into complex structures. While the palette of printable materials continues to expand, the rheological and chemical requisites for printing are not always easy to fulfill. Here, a universal manufacturing platform is reported for shaping materials into intricate geometries without the need for their printability, but instead using light-based printed salt structures as leachable molds. The salt structures are printed using photocurable resins loaded with NaCl particles. The printing, debinding, and sintering steps involved in the process are systematically investigated to identify ink formulations enabling the preparation of crack-free salt templates. The experiments reveal that the formation of a load-bearing network of salt particles is essential to prevent cracking of the mold during the process. By infiltrating the sintered salt molds and leaching the template in water, complex-shaped architectures are created from diverse compositions such as biomedical silicone, chocolate, light metals, degradable elastomers, and fiber composites, thus demonstrating the universal, cost-effective, and sustainable nature of this new manufacturing platform. Show more
Journal / seriesAdvanced Materials
Pages / Article No.
Subjectadditive manufacturing; sacrificial templating; salt printing; stereolithography
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