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Invited Review

Application and Prospective of 3D Printing in Rock Mechanics: A Review

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  • Received: 27 March 2020Revised: 22 May 2020Accepted: 16 June 2020Available online: 18 June 2020
  • Abstract: The purpose of this review is to discuss the application and development of 3D printing technology in the field of rock mechanics and the mechanical behaviors of the 3D-printed specimens based on various available printing materials. This review begins with a brief description of the concepts and principles associated with 3D printing and subsequently systematically elaborates the five major applications of 3D printing technology in the field of rock mechanics, namely, the preparation of rock (including preflawed rock) specimens, joints, and geophysical models, reconstruction of complex rock structures, and bridging experimental testing and numerical simulation. Meanwhile, the mechanical performance of 3D-printed specimens created using six different printing materials, such as polymers, resin, gypsum, sand, ceramics and rock-like geological materials, are reviewed in detail. Afterwards, some improvements that can make these 3D-printed specimens closer to natural rocks and some limitations of 3D printing technology in rock mechanics application are discussed, and some prospects that are required to be investigated in the future are proposed. Finally, a brief summary is presented. This review suggests that 3DP technology, especially when integrating other advanced technologies, such as, computed tomography (CT) scanning, 3D scanning, play great potential in rock mechanics field.
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Application and Prospective of 3D Printing in Rock Mechanics: A Review

  • Corresponding author:

    Yu Zhou    E-mail: westboy85@ustb.edu.cn

  • 1. Key Laboratory of Ministry for Efficient Mining and Safety of Metal Mines, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
  • 2. School of Civil and Resource Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China

Abstract: Abstract: The purpose of this review is to discuss the application and development of 3D printing technology in the field of rock mechanics and the mechanical behaviors of the 3D-printed specimens based on various available printing materials. This review begins with a brief description of the concepts and principles associated with 3D printing and subsequently systematically elaborates the five major applications of 3D printing technology in the field of rock mechanics, namely, the preparation of rock (including preflawed rock) specimens, joints, and geophysical models, reconstruction of complex rock structures, and bridging experimental testing and numerical simulation. Meanwhile, the mechanical performance of 3D-printed specimens created using six different printing materials, such as polymers, resin, gypsum, sand, ceramics and rock-like geological materials, are reviewed in detail. Afterwards, some improvements that can make these 3D-printed specimens closer to natural rocks and some limitations of 3D printing technology in rock mechanics application are discussed, and some prospects that are required to be investigated in the future are proposed. Finally, a brief summary is presented. This review suggests that 3DP technology, especially when integrating other advanced technologies, such as, computed tomography (CT) scanning, 3D scanning, play great potential in rock mechanics field.

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