Our next article in the State of Resin 3D Printing series contains scholarly opinions with a deep understanding of additive manufacturing and materials science.
Professor Joanna Ortyl, PhD, PhD, leads the Ortyl Applied Research Group at the Krakow University of Technology. Projects include Opus, examining carbon points and applications in photopolymerization, and developing a 3D printer to work with nanocomposites. Studies cover bioprinting of hydrogels, cationic and free radical photoinitiators to 3D printing.
Professor Ortyl is also the CEO of Photo HiTech and Photo4Chem, companies working in science and technology with experience in photopolymers.
3DPI: What do you consider the next technological barriers to 3D printing based on photopolymers?
Joanna Ortil: The next technological barriers that 3D-VAT-based photopolymer technology must overcome are, above all, the ability to print integrated circuits and electronics. For example, to produce high-conductivity materials in combination with insulators. Perhaps even 3D printing and the combination of semiconductors with conductors and insulators in the future. What’s more, all this while maintaining the accuracy and resolution of 3D printing at 1 μm or below. Another technologically important issue is the ability to 3D-print magnetic materials that can be positioned using a magnetic field. In the future, there may be a temptation to 3D printing from micromotor photopolymers. Imagine – a small rotor that rotates in an external magnetic field, obtained by 3D printing.
3DPI: What applications of photopolymerization vats do you see underdeveloped in the market and why?
Joanna Ortil: I believe that composite or nanocomposite resins that cure photos are particularly underdeveloped in the current market. 3D printing of composite materials offers great opportunities, but it is not easy to get a working material that demonstrates the ordering of the filler, such as fibers aligned in one direction.
I see photopolymerization technology in 3D printing, especially in the production of conductive materials. In this case, it is necessary to expand the idea of light as a source of photopolymerization and not be limited to the range of the visible spectrum, but also the range of BIC. Extending the functionality of the light spectrum to the near-infarction range, such as 980 nm, makes it possible to use completely new materials for the role of initiator systems. In addition, LED light sources should not be limited, but new technological solutions in electronics and optics should be considered.
3DPI: Where are the opportunities to develop materials regarding photopolymerization technology?
Joanna Ortil: Photopolymerization technology in 3D printing allows you to freely change the composition of the raw materials from which we print, to such an extent that is impossible with other 3D printing methods that use heat treatment of materials (FDM, SLS printing). Photopolymerization technology allows materials to be processed at temperatures close to room temperature, which makes it possible to modify photocurable resins by adding temperature-sensitive components that are thermally decomposed in standard 3D printing technologies (FDM, SLS). Thus, using the photopolymerization technique, it is possible to introduce 3D printing materials that are not suitable for use in other techniques such as FDM SLS. Moreover, due to the nature of the transport of energy in the form of light, the use of photopolymerization allows the use of 3D printing devices in various media, such as vacuum or aqueous media, where you can not use classic 3D printing methods FDM or SLS. possibly due to the transfer of energy in these methods in the form of thermal energy.
Make sure you don’t miss the results of our resin 3D printing survey. Subscribe to our free newsletter for the latest news in additive manufacturing. You can also stay in touch by following us Twitter and we like it Facebook.
Looking for a career in additive manufacturing? Visit Jobs for 3D printing to select roles in the industry. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the latest 3D video printing, reviews and replays of webinars.
The recommended image shows the Ortyl applied research group. Photo from the Ortyl applied research group.