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Advancing Powder-Based 3D Printing: Expanding Material Range with Encapsulated Additives


Powder-based 3D printing, particularly selective laser sintering (SLS), has emerged as a pivotal technology in additive manufacturing, offering unparalleled design freedom and versatility. However, one persistent challenge has been the limited range of materials available for this process. Enter the groundbreaking research initiative undertaken by the SKZ Plastics Center and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP: the "capSLS" project .At the heart of this project lies the innovative concept of incorporating encapsulated additives into powder materials. This approach aims to not only expand the material selection but also enhance the properties and functionalities of printed parts. By strategically embedding additives within the powder grains, the researchers seek to address the inherent limitations posed by conventional materials.The project's scope encompasses rigorous experimentation to identify suitable polymer additives and optimize their incorporation into the powder. Key considerations include maintaining desired bulk properties while introducing new functionalities. Additionally, the team explores novel powder production techniques to facilitate seamless integration of additives.The implications of this research are profound, promising to unlock new possibilities in powder-based 3D printing across various industries. From aerospace to healthcare, the ability to tailor material compositions with encapsulated additives heralds a paradigm shift towards more customized, efficient, and sustainable manufacturing processes. As the "capSLS" project unfolds, it paves the way for a future where additive manufacturing truly realizes its transformative potential.

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