Success Story

Re-imagining Heat Regulation Systems

Chapter I


Testing Without Limitations

Researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have embarked on an ambitious project – creating a self-contained, cost-effective, 3D printable heat sink by combining phase-change materials with plastics. The Composer Filament Maker is taking them closer to making that vision a reality.


Ranking among America’s top aviation schools since 1925, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers a variety of programs in aviation, applied science, engineering, computers and business. Its Mechanical Engineering Department is currently involved in groundbreaking research on battery cooling systems. Here, researchers are using the 3devo Composer Filament Maker to mix plastics and phase-change materials (PCM) into high-quality filament that can potentially 3D print lightweight, self-contained heat sinks.

Aeronautical Research
Thomas B Freeman of the Engineering department is developing groundbreaking battery cooling systems.
Chapter II

The Challenge

To realize their vision of developing 3D printable heat sinks, Embry-Riddle researchers needed PCM-based filament that could hold a stable shape. They tried creating PCM-plastic composites using a filament extruder from a leading desktop extrusion company. But this machine could only let them achieve 20% PCM in their filament. It also did not offer the quality or customizability they needed.

PCM and HDPE melted
Melting PCM
To experiment with different PCM ratios and plastics.
Chapter III

The Solution

After considering all available alternatives, the researchers picked the 3devo Composer Filament Maker for several reasons. Firstly, it let them produce high-quality filament with excellent diameter control, even when working with non-typical materials. It also enabled experimentation with different PCM ratios and a variety of plastics. Further, it was the most cost-effective option available, meeting all their requirements without the need for any add-ons.

PCM Capsules
Exploring various innovative cooling system designs
“3devo’s filament maker allows us to easily shift between materials, without the limitation of complex polymers holding us back. We have mixed various materials together such as phase-change materials mixed with HDPE and PLA.”
Sandra Boetcher

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Embry-Riddle

Chapter IV

Workflow Highlights

Helping Embry-Riddle researchers develop new-age heat sinks

  • High-quality filament with 3X higher PCM levels than before
    The Composer Filament Maker has already produced PCM-HDPE filament with 60% PCM. This is 3 times higher than what their previous extruder allowed.
  • Flexibility to adjust settings when working with non-typical materials
    Unlike their previous filament extruder, the Composer Filament Maker allows the researchers to quickly adjust the temperature, diameter, fan, and extruder RPM settings.
  • All-in-one solution for production and experimentation
    Besides improving their filament quality, the researchers are using the Composer Filament Maker to mix PCM with new plastics and to explore other innovative concepts in cooling system design.
  • High performance at an affordable price
    With its superior filament quality, customization options, and affordable price, the Composer Filament Maker has proved to be an excellent value addition to the research facility.
Producing PCM-HDPE filament with 60% PCM. 3x higher compared to a leading competitor.
“The 3devo extruder has allowed us to mix PCM/HDPE ratios that were not possible with the previous extruder we owned.”
Thomas B Freeman
PhD Student of Mechanical Engineeringat Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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