Three-Dimensional Printing of Magnetic Data Storage Structures

Corey Breznak, Paris Von Lockette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bar codes and quick response codes are the standard methods of visual data storage. These codes rely on changes in visual patterns to encode data into a binary format. Problems with these methods include limited data storage capacity and poor visual appeal in product marketing. This work examined magnetic patterns as an alternative to visual patterns as a potential means to encode data. Using magnetic patterns it is theorized that data storage capacity can be improved, while embedding the code within a tagged object. Magnetic patterns were formed using neodymium magnets, which yielded results that are similar to a bar code. Lines of high magnetic field strength followed by regions of low magnetic field strength at different spacing produced different overall magnetic patterns. Next, magnetic patterns were 3-dimensionally printed using an iron and polylactic acid commercial filament. The effect of infill density and the print line of the magnetic regions were studied by measuring the attractive force between the sample and a neodymium magnet attached to a force gauge for different print configurations. As expected the infill density of 100% had the highest force, which was roughly 330 mN, while the 10% sample had the lowest force being about 120 mN. It was expected that print line should not have an influence on magnetic force, but in this experiment magnetic regions with print lines at 0° were about 10 mN higher than samples printed at 90°. The cause of this was likely due to the printer error. Future work will study print plane, which is another processing variable in 3-dimensional printing. The target goal of matching the data storage capability of QR codes will also be work towards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1142
Number of pages6
JournalMRS Advances
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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