Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Anson Ma, Dr. Montgomery Shaw, Dr. Luyi Sun

Field of Study

Polymer Science


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


3D printing is an additive manufacturing technique capable of creating highly customizable and uniquely-shaped structures that are difficult or completely impossible to produce using conventional methods, such as injection molding. Stereolithography and UV-assisted direct write printing are two 3D printing processes, each of which can create complex geometries through photopolymerization. As the 3D printing market is transitioning from prototyping to industrial-use parts, there is a growing demand for improved resins and filled composites to satisfy the needs of various, specific industrial applications. The introduction of hexagonal boron nitride in different composites has been shown to enhance several properties over a variety of industrial applications. However, in the 3D printing space, hexagonal boron nitride has primarily been used in thermoplastic polymer systems and has not yet been approached in any photopolymeric solutions.

In this thesis, hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is added to Formlabs Clear acrylate resin to investigate the photocurable properties of these composites, with a goal of improving mechanical, thermal or electrical properties of the final, printed composites, compared to the non-filled acrylate resin. Through stereolithography printing, using the Formlabs Form 2, the hBN concentration was found to be limited to 4% by weight. It was shown that without an increase in total output (J/cm2) from the printer’s laser, successful prints would be limited to a low fill concentration, where printed composite properties perform similarly to the control sample containing no hBN. By contrast, using UV-assisted direct write printing, there was success in increasing the fill concentration of hBN to at least 40% wt. However, the mechanical properties were dramatically reduced without optimized printing parameters and post-curing procedure. It is hypothesized that with an optimized UADW printing process, parlayed with an optimal post-cure process, that the final cured properties of hBN-acrylate composites would show improvement in mechanical, thermal or electrical properties when compared with the pure acrylate resin.

Major Advisor

Dr. Anson Ma