The goal of this article is to investigate the printability of ethyl cellulose, a biomass derived polymer, using a custom-modified direct ink writing (DIW) printer. Ethyl cellulose is widely used as a thin-film coating in controlled-release vitamins and medical pills as well as a thickener in the food, cosmetics, and other industries, making it an attractive candidate biopolymer for 3D printing. In this work, ethyl cellulose was dissolved in an alpha-terpineol solvent at different solid contents to prepare inks with different viscosities. A custom DIW printer, retrofitted with an in situ infrared curing system, was designed, calibrated, and analyzed for printing ethyl cellulose. The results demonstrate that the printer can maintain a steady flow for a range of ethyl cellulose inks having different viscosities. In summary, DIW can be successfully deployed toward fabricating biopolymer parts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- General Engineering