Computer-derived microstructures by 3D Printing: Sio- and Structural Materials
3D Plinting is a rapid prototyping technique to manufacture functional components directly from computer models. The process involves spreading the powder in thin layers and then selective binding of the powder using a technology similar to ink-jet ptinting. Layers are added sequentially until a part is completed. 3DP has been used to make complex-shaped components from several monolithic matetials, including cOlnponents for use in structural applications. This paper focuses, however, on the ability to control microstlucture and local composition by 3DP. We envision cases where cOlnputer delived-microstructlu'es can be created by approptiate control of the ptinting paralneters. Thus, one can build components with the desired microstlucture independent of the complexity of the desired shape. Examples for both structural matetials and biomedical devices are discussed.