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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Reversible Copolymer Materials for FDM 3-D Printing of Non-Standard Plastics

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Reversible Copolymer Materials for FDM 3-D Printing of Non-Standard Plastics, Phase I
Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG) proposes to design and develop thermally-reversible polymeric materials that will function to modify the reprocessing characteristics of current packaging plastics to provide compatibility to Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) type 3-D printing. The application of thermally-reversible polymers combined with a plastic recycling, blending, and extrusion process would allow current and future packaging materials to be processed into a copolymer blend filament suited to the 3-D printing system. This will provide NASA with a means to generate 3-D printer feedstock from on-hand packaging plastics without the need for separate 3-D printer raw material payloads. CRG has already demonstrated the efficacy of thermally-reversible bond structures in commercial adhesive applications, and the proposed concept not only has the potential to enable reclamation and 3-D printing from currently employed packaging materials, but to advance the state-of-the-art in 3-D printing materials technology. CRG's proposed approach to develop thermally-reversible polymer materials to modify current packaging solutions, and demonstration of recycling of those packaging materials into a 3-D printable filament, will provide NASA with a material and processing technology readiness level (TRL) of 3 at the conclusion of the Phase I effort. More »

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