PolyChemPrint: A hardware and software framework for benchtop additive manufacturing of functional polymeric materials

Bijal B. Patel, Yilong Chang, Sang Kyu Park, Siqing Wang, John Rosheck, Kush Patel, Dylan Walsh, Damien Guironnet, Ying Diao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Additive manufacturing (AM, 3D Printing) of hierarchical polymer structures for a targeted function represents a grand challenge in the field of polymer science and engineering. Because advanced functional materials often do not possess suitable mechanical and rheological properties for conventional fused deposition modeling, a key challenge that researchers face is in integrating custom deposition tool heads that enable printing of non-filamentary materials while preserving synchrony with the motion axes. In this article, we demonstrate a highly versatile hardware and software platform for melt and solution-phase benchtop AM and highlight patterning and post-deposition processing of a series of non-filament forming functional polymers, including PS-b-PLA bottlebrush block copolymers, semiconducting polymer DPP2T-TT, conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS [poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate)], and an SiO2-PE nanoporous polymer matrix composite. We present a free and open-source Python module, PolyChemPrint, which serves as a research-optimized AM control software. The cross-platform (Windows/Linux) software is designed to be extremely flexible in terms the hardware that can be connected and a detailed user manual and developer guide are provided for use by researchers without extensive computer programming experience. Finally, we provide extensive details of the hardware used for operation of low- and high-pressure pneumatic extruders and a laser module as rapidly interchangeable tool heads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2468-2478
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Polymer Science
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • control software
  • polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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