Deposition Controlled Magnetic Alignment in Iron-PLA Composites

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Watson, Nathan D.
Von Lockette, Paris

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University of Texas at Austin


By manipulating the print plane, infill direction, and geometry of Fused Filament Fabricated (FFF) iron-PLA composite parts, the alignment of their magnetic axes can be influenced. FFF printing allows control of deposition direction, which affects the arrangement of the iron within the composite part in ways that induce preferred magnetic orientation, the so-called easy axis. Qualitative results show the direction of deposition of the composite iron-PLA filament has significant effects on the response of the printed parts to an external magnetic field. Results further show that across different geometries, the easy axis of a printed part can be prescribed by setting the print plane and infill direction parallel to the desired orientation. Expected part geometry effects, along with the print plane and infill influences, suggest the phenomenon can be modeled using multi-scale demagnetizing field theories to print magneto-sensitive devices that can perform localized, controlled actuation in a uniform magnetic field.


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