A new method of 3D printing with liquid metals has emerged

A team of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has simulated the ejection of droplets in

3D printing technique on metal. The researchers note that this is a critical aspect of the future development of liquid metal printing technology.

In the article, the group describes the modeling of the process,in which molten droplets of liquid metal are streamed for 3D printing of a part in layers. This process does not require the use of lasers or metal powders; it is more like inkjet printing.

Using this model, the researchers studiedthe dynamics of the primary decay of metal droplets, necessary to improve the printing process. Unlike similar methods (such as printing with powder), it does not require a large array of materials, or handling potentially hazardous powders, the researchers note.

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“Now we do not have an understanding of the whole physics of printingusing a liquid in the form of a metal, - said the co-author of the work Andy Pascall. "This model points to additional physical mechanisms that may need to be explored to move from experimentation to simulation."

To conduct research, the team createdspecial liquid metal printer capable of squeezing out tin drops. Combined with high-speed printing, the printer served as an experimental base for free blob printing and allowed the team to track detailed dynamics during emissions.

Research has shown this technique is stableand it can be played. The team now plans to investigate droplet extrusion across a wider range of process parameters and seek a deeper understanding of the factors that influence droplet shape, decay and formation of high-grade materials.

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