In May 2015, researchers at Northwestern University designed a method to print 3D structures using graphene nanoflakes, by developing a graphene-based ink that can be used to print large, robust 3D structures. This fast and efficient method may open up new opportunities for using graphene printed scaffolds and various other electronic or medical applications. Also in May 2015, researchers at Michigan Technological University progressed in their work to 3D print replacement nerves using 3D bioprinting techniques. The team has developed polymer materials that can act as a scaffold for growing tissues and is working on integrating graphene as the electrical conductor.
In March 2015, U.S-based Local Motors declared plans to 3D print vehicles within 12 hours, reinforcing extruded printed material with graphene. The company reported significant progress in its additive manufacturing technology since it unveiled its Strati vehicle. The company was looking to reduce the print time to 12 hours, with a four to five-hour assembly time, and had been speaking to a Korean firm about sourcing graphene for extruding in composite 3D printing materials.
In July 2014, US-based Graphene Technologies announced a partnership with Stratasys to co-develop graphene-enhanced 3D printing materials.
A 12X12 meter 3D graphene-fiberglass printer was unveiled by Qingdao Unique Products Develop during a trade show in China. It is meant to print building in the future, according to the company, using a fiberglass-graphene composite that will allow the creation of very strong objects.
Grafoid, a Canadian based company, signed an agreement with Altamat to construct an atomization facility to produce MesoGraf graphene-based powders and filaments for 3D printing for use in a wide range of functionalized powders for 3D printing applications. Grafoid hopes to supply a wide range of Mesograf-based powders and filaments that will allow manufacturing companies in every industry to utilize additive manufacturing processes to produce their end products on demand, not solely for prototyping purposes.
Australian company 3D Graphtech Industries, established by CSIRO organization to investigate research opportunities in 3D printing using graphite and graphene inks, will jointly perform a white-paper study to identify technological problems in the 3D printing market that can be solved in an R&D program to provide a commercial solution.
US based AGT launched a similar research project in collaboration with Ukraine's Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology ("KIPT").
The latest graphene 3D printing news:
XG Sciences, designer and manufacturer of graphene nanoplatelets and advanced materials containing graphene nanoplatelets, and Terrafilum, an eco-friendly, high quality filament producer for the 3D printing industry, announced a joint development agreement to develop, produce and market 3D printing filaments and coatings using graphene-based materials.
Chris Jackson, President of Terrafilum, points out, "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."
Aecom has produced a graphene arch using additive manufacturing techniques. It believes the method could reduce the time and cost of installing digital signalling systems and transform the digitization of transport networks. The 4.5-meter high, lightweight arch is being tested on outdoor track at Network Rail’s workforce development center in Bristol.
GrapheneCA, graphene producer and developer of graphene-based technology for industries and consumers, has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Apis Cor to develop a 3D printing system capable of printing graphene materials.
GrapheneCA and its partner Apis Cor, a developer of specialized concrete 3D printing equipment, are discussing a future co-operation in which GrapheneCA will design an extruder and mixing system that can be embedded into Apis Cor’s 3D printer. Together, the two companies are expecting to develop a 3D printing system capable of printing graphene material.
Canadian graphene developer Grafoid announced that it launched a new company, called Grafprint3D, to develop and produce 3D printing materials based on Grafoid's MesoGraf graphene - although Grafprint3D's current materials are actually graphene inks for screen printing and inkjet printing and not 3D printed ones.
Grafoid says that initially the new company will focus on wearable device fabrication with biocompatible polymers, biomaterial substrates for cell therapy engineering research, and rapid product prototyping with printable advanced nanomaterials.
Versarien has announced its plans to enter an agreement with a large state-owned Chinese aerospace company. The Partner is said to mainly be engaged in the research, design, manufacture and operation of various aerospace systems.
The agreement details the parties' desire to collaborate and ultimately enter into a strategic cooperation covering research, development and manufacturing in order to accelerate the industrialization and market for graphene and other Versarien 2D materials, including Hexotene, in the Chinese aerospace sector. This will include exploring their uses within the fields of, amongst others, microwave and electromagnetic radiation shielding, heat dispersion coatings, 3D printing and flexible wearable devices.