'Miracle' Graphene Could Potently Combine with 3D Printing
August 21, 2014
The nanomaterial graphene could prove to be the most important synthetic material since plastic, but a cost-effective mass-production method for the material has as yet evaded commercialization. Now Graphene 3D Lab, a company based in Calverton, N.Y., appears to be on the verge of commercializing graphene-enhanced filaments compatible with fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers.
First isolated and identified in 2004, graphene is known as a "wonder material" due to its inherent properties. Composed of a single layer of carbon atoms bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons, graphene is 1 million times thinner than a sheet of paper and considered two-dimensional. It is the both the thinnest and the strongest material known to man.
As a result of these properties, graphene has exciting promise in applications such as bendable computer screens, wearable electronics, nano-electronics, liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diodes
Now marry the properties of graphene with the benefits that 3D printing brings to the table, particularly the abilities to manufacture ultra-complex parts and to create precise replications of existing objects, and the potential impact on both consumer and industrial levels of 3D printing is promising. The availability of graphene for 3D printing could accelerate sales of consumer and prosumer 3D printers, especially if it's compatible with most current FDM printers.
Graphene Filaments Reportedly Near Commercialization
While there is work being started by Stratasys
The company also plans to establish joint ventures and develop direct and indirect shipping and distribution channels as well as a proprietary 3D printer that "takes full advantage" of its graphene filaments. Revenues would come from the sale of this machine in addition to the filaments.
The members of Graphene 3D Lab's management are no strangers to the world of nanomaterials. CEO Daniel Stolyarov holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Southern California, with expertise in nanomaterials and formulation of nanocomposites. He has co-authored papers with Nobel and Kavli prize winners, as well as members of the National Academy of Sciences.
COO Elena Polyakova also holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Southern California. She is a regular speaker at graphene and nanotech conferences (most recently at Nanotech 2014
As graphene pioneers, Stolyarov and Polyakova launched Graphene Laboratories
High-quality graphite is a base material for producing graphene. Lomiko Metals, an mineral exploration company with a focus on graphite development, will provide graphite to Graphene 3D Labs, as its exclusive supplier.
This article was originally published on Engineering.com