We present in this work the development and experimental validation of a new piezoelectric material (V-Ink) designed for compatibility with projection stereolithography additive manufacturing techniques. Piezoelectric materials generate a voltage output when a stress is applied to the material, and also can be actuated by using an external voltage and power source. This new material opens up new opportunities for functional devices to be developed and rapidly produced at low cost using emerging 3D printing techniques. The new piezoelectric material was able to generate 115mV under 1N of strain after being polled at 80°C for 40 minutes and the optimal results had a piezoelectric coefficient of 105x10^(-3)V.m/N. The current iteration of the material is a suspension, although further work is ongoing to make the resin a true solution. The nature of the suspension was characterized by a time-lapse monitoring and through viscosity testing. The potential exists to further increase the piezoelectric properties of this material by integrating a mechanical to electrical enhancer such as carbon nanotubes or barium titanate into the material. Such materials need to be functionalized to be integrated within the material, which is currently being explored. Printing with this material on a “continuous SLA” printer that we have developed will reduce build times by an order of magnitude to allow for mass manufacturing. Pairing those two advancements will enable faster printing and enhanced piezoelectric properties.
Evan Baker, Weishen Chu, Henry Oliver T. Ware, Adam C. Farsheed, and Cheng Sun, "The development of all-polymer-based piezoelectrically active photocurable resin for 3D printing process (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10115, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics X, 101150T (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2017; Published: 28 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252593.5395719082001.
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