Tunable Digital Material Properties of 3D Voxel Printers

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Hiller, Jonathan
Lipson, Hod

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Digital materials are composed of many discrete voxels placed in a massively parallel layer deposition process, as opposed to continuous (analog) deposition techniques. We explore the material properties attainable using a voxel-based freeform fabrication process and simulate how the properties can be tuned for a wide range of applications. By varying the precision, geometry, and material of the individual voxels, we obtain continuous control over the density, elastic modulus, CTE, ductility, and failure mode of the material. Also, we demonstrate the effects of several hierarchical voxel “microstructures”, resulting in interesting properties such as negative poisson’s ratio. This implies that digital materials can exhibit widely varying properties in a single desktop fabrication process.


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