As a consequence of recent commercialisation and innovation, 3D printing technology has emerged into many fields, including the field of packaging. Functionality of packaging made by 3D printing technology may be expanded by addition of thermochromic filaments that change their colour as the temperature changes.
The aim of the master’s thesis was to produce two functional prototypes of packaging (i.e. plastic bottles) with two 3D printers based on extrusion of thermoplastic material technology. A thermochromic element was added to prototypes of plastic bottle in two forms – as a thermochromic filament, concurrently used in combination with conventional ABS filament during 3D printing; and as a thermochromic printing ink, subsequently applied to pre-printed plastic bottle with conventional ABS filament.
In the experimental part of the master’s thesis we analysed the properties and behaviour of thermochromic filament and thermochromic printing ink after exposure to elevated temperatures. We tested the thermochromic indicators on the experimental specimens and on the pre-made prototypes of a plastic bottle.
The findings were as follows: the printing of a plastic bottle with only conventional ABS filament and subsequently applying thermochromic printing ink proved to be less demanding than the printing of a plastic bottle with concurrent use of conventional ABS and thermochromic filament. The plastic bottle made with only conventional ABS filament and subsequently coated with the thermochromic printing ink proved to be the better of the two bottles in the sense of temperature indication. We also found out that thermochromic printing ink has a very intense response when exposed to elevated temperatures, however after a longer exposure to elevated temperature above 250 °C the thermochromic printing ink degrades.
By comparing the temporal dynamics of colouration of the thermochromic filament and the thermochromic printing ink, we observed that the method of application of the thermochromic indicator affected the rate of colouration change at elevated temperatures. Subsequently applying thermochromic printing ink on a pre-printed plastic bottle proved out to be the better of the two tested methods of application of the thermochromic indicator.