Multipurpose Additive/Subtractive 3D Printing
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a rapid prototyping method to construct complex 3D structures through a layer-by-layer approach. Our 3D printer integrates three different heads which enable the printing of synthetic polymers (e.g. PCL, PLA), natural polymers (e.g. collagen, gelatin) and sintering of metallic inks. An important advantage of this technique is the deposition of biomaterials at the desired 3D pattern, which could have a great potential in tissue engineering applications.
The printer used in our lab is a LULZBOT TAZ 5 with a printing area of 290mm x 275mm x 250mm. The printer except for the heating bed also uses a liquid cooling bed capable of reaching -30 degrees Celsius.
The stock head (Figure 1) is capable of using materials like PCL, PLA, ABS, wood-filled filaments, etc at a maximum printing speed of around 200 mm/sec.
The second head (Figure 2) is a custom-made design for printing natural polymers like collagen, gelatin, fibronectin, etc. It uses a syringe and a stepper motor in addition to controlling the flow of the liquid.
Figure 1: Head used for printing of synthetic polymers.
Figure 2: Head used for printing of natural polymers.
Mr. Andreas Lemonis
Ms. Eleftheria Babaliari
Dr. Emmanuel Stratakis