The designer and manufacturer of graphene nanoplate and advanced materials containing graphene nanoplate from XG Sciences Inc. (Lansing, Michigan, USA) and the 3D printing filament manufacturer Terrafilum have a joint development agreement to develop, manufacture, and commercialize of 3D printing filaments and coatings using graphene-based materials.
Graphene was first isolated and characterized in 2004 and is a single layer of carbon atoms configured in a honeycomb lattice on an atomic scale. Among many known properties, monolayer graphene is harder than diamond, lighter than steel, but significantly stronger, and conducts electricity better than copper. Graphene nanosheets – particles made up of multiple layers of graphene – are reported to have unique abilities in terms of energy storage, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, barrier properties, lubricity and the ability to improve physical properties when incorporated into plastics, metals or other matrices will.
Chris Jackson, President of Terrafilum, said, “The full potential for 3D printing is gradually being unlocked. By adding XG’s graphene formulations to our environmentally friendly filaments, products are transformed so that a greater variety of parts can be made at faster production rates and less energy. “
3D printing for prototyping and limited production parts continues to grow. However, companies have been urged to move into mass production due to material constraints such as directional structural weaknesses, poor conductivity, and a limited selection of ESD-robust filaments, a general lack of part performance, and slow production times.
Graphene reinforced filaments help solve product-related problems associated with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing in the past by improving Z-direction strength, providing more robust ESD parts, and overall lighter parts in less time produce.
“The combination of established 3D printing technologies with our graphene-enriched formulations makes the material difference in solving the two most limiting factors for 3D printed parts, product strength and processing speed,” says Dr. Leroy Magwood, Chief Technologist at XG Sciences.
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