RE: Laminated object manufacturing with static charged clay

From: Blasch, Larry (
Date: Wed May 21 2003 - 15:15:58 EEST


I was also seeing the broader application of the technology (beyond the
micro devices). What was not explained in the article was the method used to
produce a selective static charge to control the deposition. Photo or laser
or irradiation I would imagine. If the research is limited to clay layering
within a plastic matrix then they don't see the potential.

If you look at the technology from the point of view of the RP-ML, the
potential for an RP machine/process that builds parts by selectively
placing/ordering materials at the nano scale could be used to fabricate much
larger components and even assemblies.

Imagine an RP machine that makes parts at greater than .00001" resolution.
But why stop there, any material that you can deposit can be used for
fabrication. You could create laminate structures where there is a chemical
reaction between the layers of materials to form new compounds. The
complexity if the matrix would be limited only to the number of materials
that can be deposited by the process. (A rather large number I would think.)

There is also no reason why you couldn't use metals and produce parts for
sintering that have engineered mechanical properties. Alloys that cannot be
produced in a molten state (micro gravity fabrication may never happen)
could be created easily. Yeah, I know that you can get blended powdered
metal parts already, but imagine varying the blend ratio/material to suit
the shape/requirements.

You could build 3 dimensional lattice structures that contain interwoven
strands/meshes/grids within another material. It would vastly improve the
creation of multi-function components, where the mechanical properties vary
within a single item.

Gotta stop dreaming and get back to work.


Larry Blasch

-----Original Message-----
From: Brock []
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 6:01 PM
To: Blasch, Larry
Cc: RPML (E-mail)
Subject: Re: Laminated object manufacturing with static charged clay


Although the article refers to micro devices, some of the more practical
applications of nano-clays today are in things like plastic beer
bottles. The exfoliated clays are broad, flat particles, the thin part
of which is thin enough to count as nanoparticles. The particles can
impart multiple properties to a plastic matrix, such blocking UV light
from the outside and gas molecules from the inside, while leaving the
bottle transparent to visible light.

The implications for RP are that someone may want to experiment with
putting such materials in other plastic parts. One of the issues is to
make sure that you disperse the particles evenly. If the particles clump
up, you lose some of the properties. Also, since the particles are more
expensive than the matrix material, you want to optimize how much of the
material you use, to keep costs down.

I would think that some university students might have an active
interest in playing around with nano-clays in new applications. Using RP
equipment to make prototypes would seem to be a natural. Direct
manufacture of early, short-run nano-clay products on RP/M might be an
interesting niche market.

Anybody working in this area already? We are looking for speakers (maybe
already have them) on nano-clays for a meeting we are having for our
nanoMaterials & Manufacturing Forum on June 18.

Brock Hinzmann
voice: +1 (650) 859-4350

"Blasch, Larry" wrote:

> Nano-Clay May Shape Micro-Devices
> Maybe that's how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids...
> Lawrence R. Blasch
> Design Engineer
> CAE Systems Administrator
> OPW Fueling Components
> P.O. Box 405003
> Cincinnati, OH 45240-5003 USA
> Voice: (513) 870-3356
> Fax: (513) 870-3275

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