The conventional manufacturing process of aerogel insulation material relies largely on the supercritical drying, which suffers from issues of massive energy consumption, high-cost equipment and prolonged processing time. With the consideration of large market demand of the aerogel insulation material in the next decade, a low-cost and scalable fabrication technique is highly desired. In this paper, a direct ink writing (DIW) method is used to three-dimensionally fabricate the silica aerogel insulation material, followed by room-temperature and ambient pressure drying. Compared to the supercritical drying and freeze-drying, the reported method significantly reduces the fabrication time and costs. The cost-effective DIW technique offers the capability to print complex hollow internal structures, coupled with the porous structure, is found to be beneficial to the thermal insulation property. The addition of fiber to the ink assures the durability of the fabricated product. The foam ink preparation methods and the printability are demonstrated in this paper, along with the printed samples for characterizing thermal insulation performance and mechanical properties.

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