Graphene-enhanced 3D printing filament aimed at improving production rates
XG Sciences and Terrafilum announce joint development agreement to produce graphene-enhanced 3D printing filaments and coatings.
XG Sciences Inc. (Lansing, Mich., U.S.) designer and manufacturer of graphene nanoplatelets and advanced materials containing graphene nanoplatelets, and 3D printing filament producer Terrafilum have announced a joint development agreement to develop, produce and market 3D printing filaments and coatings using graphene-based materials.
First isolated and characterized in 2004, graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms configured in an atomic-scale honeycomb lattice. Among many noted properties, monolayer graphene is harder than diamonds, lighter than steel but significantly stronger, and conducts electricity better than copper. Graphene nanoplatelets — particles consisting of multiple layers of graphene — are reported to have unique capabilities for energy storage, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, barrier properties, lubricity and the ability to impart physical property improvements when incorporated into plastics, metals or other matrices.
Chris Jackson, president of Terrafilum, says, “The full potential for 3D printing is starting to be unlocked. The addition of XG’s graphene formulations into our eco-friendly filaments will transform products allowing a greater variety of parts to be created at faster production rates using less energy.”
3D printing continues to grow for prototyping and limited-run production parts, but companies have been challenged to move into high-volume production due to material limitations such as direction-specific structural weaknesses, a lack of conductivity, a sparse selection of ESD robust filaments, an overall lack of part performance and slow production times.
Graphene-enhanced filaments help solve product-related problems, historically associated with fused deposition modeling (FDM) printing, by enhancing z-direction strength, providing more ESD robust parts and creating overall lighter parts in less time.
“Marrying together well-established 3D printing technologies with our graphene-enhanced formulations makes the material difference in resolving the two most limiting factors in 3D-printed parts, product strength and processing speeds,” says Dr. Leroy Magwood, chief technologist for XG Sciences.
Collaborative demonstration dispels doubt about 3D printing’s disruptive potential for direct-to-digital manufacturing of just about anything BIG.
Toolmakers and OEMs are embracing additive manufacturing for customized, rapid tools, masters and jigs.
JEC World will be held March 14-16 in Paris. CW previews some of the products and technologies that will be at the show.