Viscoplastic Matrix Materials for Embedded 3D Printing

Abigail K. Grosskopf, Ryan L. Truby, Hyoungsoo Kim, Antonio Perazzo, Jennifer A. Lewis, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Embedded three-dimensional (EMB3D) printing is an emerging technique that enables free-form fabrication of complex architectures. In this approach, a nozzle is translated omnidirectionally within a soft matrix that surrounds and supports the patterned material. To optimize print fidelity, we have investigated the effects of matrix viscoplasticity on the EMB3D printing process. Specifically, we determine how matrix composition, print path and speed, and nozzle diameter affect the yielded region within the matrix. By characterizing the velocity and strain fields and analyzing the dimensions of the yielded regions, we determine that scaling relationships based on the Oldroyd number, Od, exist between these dimensions and the rheological properties of the matrix materials and printing parameters. Finally, we use EMB3D printing to create complex architectures within an elastomeric silicone matrix. Our methods and findings will both facilitate future characterization of viscoplastic matrices and motivate the development of new materials for EMB3D printing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23353-23361
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 11 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • 3D printing
  • embedded three-dimensional printing
  • particle image velocimetry
  • rheology
  • viscoplasticity


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