According to the American Physical Society graphene is a "Wonder Material" and has a wide array of cutting edge properties which includes the highest strength of any material isolated, unmatched conductivity, transparency and flexibility. The 2004 discovery during 2004 won graphene pioneers Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics and accolade that normally takes decades if not centuries to be awarded. Since then grahene has moved quickly from the laboratories to industrial applications with global leaders in academia and industry which includes M.I.T., Harvard, IBM, Ford and Samsung all consider graphene as the choice material for the future of composite materials, drug delivery and administration, energy storage and electronics.
Graphene is a single-atomic layer of carbon atoms which are arranged in a hexagonal lattice, the same form as that of a chicken wire fence. In essence it is a single-layer of graphite, being isolated by the exfoliation of graphite and/or grown by Chemical Vapor Deposition which is a process that involves the decomposition of gases at an increased temperature which cause the deposition of carbon atoms onto a metallic substrate. Natural graphite is inexpensive, a natural mineral whose structure can be pictured as a stack of two dimensional graphene layers is used as the base material for making graphene nanoplatelets. When making graphene nanoplatelets, the crystal graphite is broken into separate graphene sheets and this method is commercially feasible and completely scalable.
Nanocomposities that are graphene-enhanced have greatly improved characteristics in comparison to0 traditional materials and plasticsd that are used in 3D printing. This leads to dramatic improvements and allows to drastically expand the range of commercial applications of this new technology. Through the use of our proprietary processes, our team has developed the necessary technology to effectively produce graphene nanocomposites and materials that can used within 3D printing. These technologies present the potential to life 3D printing to next stage of commercial development. When graphene nanoplatelets is added to polymers, it effects materials in phenomenal ways. With the addition of graphene, the materials then share many of the extraordinary properties of graphene itself becoming mechanically stronger with their electrical and thermal conductivity being greatly enhanced.
Through embrassing our technology, we manufacture 3D priniting materials that can be used to print complete devices, from electronics, to aesthetics, to structure in a manner that is compatible with printers that are currently avaliable on the market. We forecast that our technology will enable the consumer to use our proprietary graphene-enhanced polymers with existing polymers in the same printing process enabling the fabrication of fully functional electronic devices using 3D printing. This innovation in 3D printing will allow for the manufacture of a wide range of products including printed electronic sensors, circuits and batteries to be manufactured.
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is the process of using a digital file to create a three dimensional solid object and printers can create models or products from nylon, metal, plastic and almost any material being achieved through the use of an additive process where successive layers of materials are laid down successively to create almost any imaginable shape differing from the widespread process of subtractive manufacturing since 3D printing does not result in extensive material waste.
3D is considered by many to be the beginning of the third Industrial Revolution having the very real potential to move us away from the Henry Ford era mass production line and bringing us closer to the reality of customized, one-off production. This technology is already being taken advantage by industry sectors such as defense, automotive and aerospace with 3D printing already a multi-billion dollar industry itself with President Obama speaking glowingly of it saying the technology, “Has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything."
The Future of 3D Printing
Within years, not decades 3D printing is going to drastically change how we acquire goods. As an example instead of shipping an item, the retailer will very simply transfer the blue print files directly to your 3D printer which will mean the immediate delivery of an almost exponential number of goods. Today in 2015, to repair a broken dishwasher, the customer orders a spare part from the service facility, which the provider brought from the distributor, who probably has it shipped or flown in from overseas. These parts come from a factory where tens of thousands are mass produced at one time caste in metal or via injection moulding. What 3D printing presents is a truly simplified distribution process, a process which boils down to the ownership of a 3D printer and the purchase of the relevant polymer and relevant file for printing, a cost saving for all those involved.
The true potential of 3D printing is not just limited to the "On-Demand" reproduction of existing technologies. By accruing complex 3D-printed components; electronic circuits, power sources, light, batteries and censors, intricate smart devices and objects can be created. By including wireless chips and integrated GPS, such devices can be connected to the internet and remotely controlled otherwise known as the internet of things the fast growing network of intelligently connected devices and objects.
When you decide to commercialize your newly developed products, our large-volume production capabilities will be there to ensure the necessary supply of high-specification graphene.
Please contact us with your requirements and we will be delighted to provide you with technical product data-sheets, and assist you with co-development services and supply of your material.