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A study on the effects of resin infiltration techniques on parts produced using the three-dimensional printing process

Steele, K.A.M. and Herbert, N. and Pretet, V. (2004) A study on the effects of resin infiltration techniques on parts produced using the three-dimensional printing process. In: Fifth National Conference on Rapid Design, Prototyping, and Manufacturing. John Wiley & Sons Inc., pp. 71-78. ISBN 978-1-86058-465-7

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Since its commercial introduction in 1997, the Z-Corp 3D Printing (3DP) system, developed by MIT, has established itself at the world's most popular Rapid Prototyping (RP) system for concept modelling. One of the principal areas of research that has built up around the technology has been the development of the post-processing techniques and materials that can be used to improve the mechanical properties of parts produced using the system. This paper explores the effects of both part drying and vacuum assisted infiltration, as well as introducing polyurethanes and Z-Max epoxy resin as viable infiltration/coating materials. Through both compressive and tensile testing of various resin and post-processing technique combinations, the effects on the mechanical properties of 3DP parts are discussed. This paper also summarises some key guidelines for successful post treatment of 3DP parts.