FAMES Lab reviews the role of 3D printing technologies in fiber device fabrication in Advanced Fiber Materials

Additive manufacturing is the creation of arbitrary-shaped volumes by agglomerating, sintering, or cross-linking stacked successive layers of material material and holds a key role in optimizing the fabrication and characterization of complex fiber-based devices. Experimental applications are reviewed and discussedd in "3D Printing in Fiber-Device Technology," FAMES Lab's new publication in Advanced Fiber Materials. The review first covers the recent advances in adopting 3D printing for direct digital manufacturing of fiber preforms with complex cross-sectional architectures designed for the desired thermally drawn fiber-device functionality. Next, the paper taking a recursive manufacturing approach, explains how fibers can serve as a raw material for 3D printing, resulting in macroscopic objects with enhanced functionalities, from optoelectronic to bio-functional, imparted by the fiber-devices properties.

Conceptual art exploring the connections (solid arrows), as well as possible ones (dashed arrows), between different applications of 3D printing (center) in fiber device technologies, and examples from the literature (outer layer). I Fiber draw from a preform prepared by 3D printing and/or stack-and-draw, leading to unconventional fiber cross-sectional geometries and materials [20, 23, 24]. Ia and Ib  Examples of 3D printed preforms, from [21] and [25], respectively. II Axial patterning of multimaterial fibers via the material-selective capillary breakup, described in [5], enabling functional fibers, textiles, and wearables [5, 16, 17, 18, 19]. IIa Illustration of pn junction fabrication through capillary breakup, from [19]. IIb In-fiber array of spheres contacted in parallel [18]. III  Functional 3D objects from structured fibers. IIIa Light emitting system [20]. IIIb  3d structured printed with elastic triboelectric fiber [26]. IV Biosynthetic interfaces, bioprinting, and tissue engineering [5]. Iva Conceptual drawing of smart fibers integrated to living tissue [5]. IVb  3d printed aortic valve [27].   V  Objects with engineered bulk properties. Va 3d printed phosphate glass piece [15]. Vb  3d printed part with multimaterial filament [21].