Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
Journal or Book Title
Rapid Prototyping Journal
Purpose. The objective of this study was to evaluate how accurately a 3D printer could manufacture basic porous models. Geoscience research is evolving toward numerical prediction of porous rock properties, but laboratory tests are still considered standard practice. 3D printing digital designs of porous models (proxies) is a way to bridge the gap between these two realms of inquiry.
Design/methodology/approach. Digital designs of simple porous models were 3D-printed on an inkjet-style (polyjet) 3D printer. Porosity and pore-throat size distribution of proxies were measured with helium porosimetry, mercury porosimetry, and computed tomography image analysis. Laboratory results on proxies were compared with properties calculated on digital designs and CT images.
Findings. Bulk volume of proxies was by 0.6-6.7% lower than digital designs. 3D-printed porosity increased to 0.2-1.9% compared to digital designs (0-1.3%). 3D-printed pore throats were thinner than designed by 10-31%.
Research limitations/implications. Incomplete removal of support material from pores yielded inaccurate property measurements. The external envelope of proxies was 3D-printed at higher accuracy than pores.
Practical implications. Characterization of these simple models improves understanding of: 1) how more complex rock models can be 3D-printed accurately; and 2) how both destructive (mercury porosimetry) and non-destructive (computed tomography and helium porosimetry) methods can be used to characterize porous models.
Originality/value. Validation of 3D-printed porous models using a suite of destructive and non-destructive methods is novel.
Emerald Publishing Limited
Hasiuk, Franciszek J,; Ishutov, Sergey; and Pacyga, Artur, "Validating 3D-printed porous proxies by tomography and porosimetry" (2018). Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Publications. 251.