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:
Composed of aerogel graphene and two bio-inspired polymers, the novel material is reportedly capable of removing dyes, metals and organic solvents from drinking water with 100% efficiency. Unlike similar nanosheets, the scientists’ design is reusable, doesn’t leave residue and can be 3D printed into larger sizes. The team now plans to commercialize its design for industrial-scale deployment.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM) have reported a breakthrough in the study of 3D printing electronic devices with graphene.
The scientists utilized an inkjet-based 3D printing technique to deposit inks that contained flakes of graphene, in a promising step towards replacing single-layer graphene as a contact material for 2D metal semiconductors.
Researchers led by Professor Tony McNally, from WMG, at the University of Warwick, in partnership with Senergy Innovations, have launched the first nanomaterial enabled all polymer solar thermal cell. This achievement was supported by funding from BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy).
The thermal properties of the polymers that were used were modified to enable heat from sunlight to be transferred with high efficiency to heat water in a low cost and sustainable way. The modular design of the cells reportedly allows for the rapid construction of a solar thermal cell array on both domestic and industry roofing.
The cartridges were reportedly printed using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), a robust engineering plastic, in less than 2 hours and with low costs, with the cartridges weighing about 13 grams (similar to a AAA battery) and measuring a few centimetres in size (palm size).
A team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, and the King Saud University have 3D printed graphene-based electrodes capable of detecting mycotoxin zearalenone (aka ZEA, poisonous secondary metabolites) in food. The scientists believe their study could pave the way for a novel method of food safety assurance.
According to the study, contaminated products can lead to cancer or even death in humans. For this reason, timely and reliable methods of detecting mycotoxins are crucial for food inspectors to mitigate the spread and keep the products in food storage facilities safe until they reach the shelf.