Re: Laminated object manufacturing with static charged clay

From: Brock (
Date: Wed May 21 2003 - 19:41:54 EEST

Larry, Don't stop dreaming. If anything, that is what the list needs more of. I
think the economy has hammered everyone into submission.

I'm not sure about all of the things you are talking about, but it comes down
to what is technically possible (atomic and molecular manipulation by laser
>>tweezers<< and other means) and what is currently economically practical.
Probably not enough has been done to see what is possible with self-assembling
molecules in a vat of liquid photopolymers or in a slurry or maybe even in a
blend of fine pwders. I assume by microgravity you don't mean just that on the
Space Shuttle, but microgravities that can be created on earth. What other
forces, magnetic, for instance, might be applied to the material,
simultaneously with light, to alter the composite of materials in process? What
about multiple wavelengths of light affecting different materials in the vat in
different ways at different steps in the process? Resolution from the top down
may be uneconomical for some time, but with the right materials responding
instantly to each other to self-assemble, you might get some of the properties
you find useful.

These seem like reasonable experiments to try, not just dreams.


"Blasch, Larry" wrote:

> Brock,
> 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.
> Sincerely,
> 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
> Larry,
> 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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