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:
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.
Zenyatta Ventures has announced its plans to raise up to $3,000,000 CAD (around $2,240,000 USD) on a non-brokered private placement basis. The proceeds will be used for bulk sampling, environmental assessment and community engagement.
Zentayya also provided an update on its graphene market development work ,which has led to the creation of five significant potential market verticals for the Company which include aerospace, biomedical, water treatment, transportation and civil engineering.
Graphene oxide and alginate combine to create new ‘smart’ material with potential biomedical, environmental uses
Researchers at Brown University, the University of Wisconsin and the National University of Singapore have developed a way of reinforcing hydrogel materials made from alginate, a natural material derived from seaweeds that’s currently used in a variety of biomedical applications, by incorporating graphene oxide into its structure.
This produces a material that can be 3D printed into structures that are stiffer and more fracture resistant than alginate alone - an important achievement as alginate tends to be fragile and thus hard to work with. Furthermore, the material is also capable of becoming stiffer or softer in response to different chemical treatments, meaning it could be used to make “smart” materials that are able to react to their surroundings in real time. In addition, alginate-GO retains alginate’s ability to repel oils, giving the new material potential as an anti-fouling coating.