Net-shape manufacture of customizable objects through three-dimensional (3D) printing offers tremendous promise for personalization to improve the fit, performance, and comfort associated with devices and tools used in our daily lives. However, the application of 3D printing in structural objects has been limited by their poor mechanical performance that manifests from the layer-by-layer process by which the part is produced. Here, this interfacial weakness is overcome using a structured, core-shell polymer filament where a polycarbonate (PC) core solidifies quickly to define the shape, whereas an olefin ionomer shell contains functionality (crystallinity and ionic) that strengthen the interface between the printed layers. This structured filament leads to improved dimensional accuracy and impact resistance in comparison to the individual components. The impact resistance from structured filaments containing 45 vol % shell can exceed 800 J/m. The origins of this improved impact resistance are probed using X-ray microcomputed tomography. Energy is dissipated by delamination of the shell from PC near the crack tip, whereas PC remains intact to provide stability to the part after impact. This structured filament provides tremendous improvements in the critical properties for manufacture and represents a major leap forward in the impact properties obtainable for 3D-printed parts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)