All-aromatic polyimides have degradation temperatures above 500 °C, excellent mechanical strength, and chemical resistance, and are thus ideal polymers for high-temperature applications. However, their all-aromatic structure impedes additive manufacturing (AM) because of the lack of melt processability and insolubility in organic solvents. Recently, our group demonstrated the design of UV-curable polyamic acids (PAA), the precursor of polyimides, to enable their processing using vat photopolymerization AM. This work leverages our previous synthetic strategy and combines it with the high solution viscosity of nonisolated PAA to yield suitable UV-curable inks for UV-assisted direct ink write (UV-DIW). UV-DIW enabled the design of complex three-dimensional structures comprising of thin features, such as truss structures. Dynamic mechanical analysis of printed and imidized specimens confirmed the thermomechanical properties typical of all-aromatic polyimides, showing a storage modulus above 1 GPa up to 400 °C. Processing polyimide precursors via DIW presents opportunity for multimaterial printing of multifunctional components, such as three-dimensional integrated electronics.
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