The process of AM is colloquially
referred to as 3D printing, utilizing
techniques that build up a structure.
Material Extrusion which is the most
common form of AM is further broken down
into two main methods FFF and
stereolithography (SLA). Each method has
its advantages with FFF having a wider
range of materials and SLA permitting a
higher resolution detail. FFF style printing
typically uses filaments that are melted
through an extruder head to be laid down
onto a surface. Typical printer heads are
able to generate a maximum temperature of
about 260°C to 300°C. This process
heavily favors the use of thermoplastics to
create their structures. Electrically
conductive filaments have been generated
and are available in the market but require
post processing (which can easily ruin a
print); to reach viable resistivity.
The plastic acts as a scaffold and carrier for
the desired conductive material, but
consequently introduces high resistivity.
The post processing method involves curing
the print in a vacuum oven to remove the
carriers and additives but can inadvertently
degrade the metal it is trying to precipitate
thus ruining the print.
The Kupros all metal filament avoids all of these problems.
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