On the verge of a technological revolution fuelled by the increasingly widespread access to 3D printing, graphene-enhanced 3D printer feed stock (filaments) may take opportunities with 3D printing to the next generation. A company in Long Island NY, Graphene 3D Lab stands at the forefront of this latest 3D printer industry innovation. The company is the R&D leader for supporting the manufacturing industry through the development of proprietary graphene-based, nanocomposite materials (filaments) for various types of 3D printing.
Company principals, globally renowned experts in the field of nanomaterials, add graphene-enhanced nanocomposite materials to 3D printer filaments, which dramatically expand the functionality of 3D printed objects. Essentially, today’s 3D printers use one type of printer filament (mostly polymer) to create albeit intricate, but static 3D objects. With the addition of graphene, 3D printer filament materials then share many of the phenomenal properties of the graphene itself. They become mechanically stronger and their thermal and electrical conductivity are greatly improved. Graphene 3D Lab is developing the technology that will allow the greatest innovators of the aerospace industry the ability to design and create, limited only by their imagination.
Because graphene-enhanced filaments can provide functionality to the materials being 3D printed the raw materials are now available for manufactures to create 3D printed objects with functionality such as battery power, conductivity, and strength. As the technology continues to develop, additional parts for aircrafts, tools, and other items required to be created as a one-off are able to be 3D printed at any location, any time. This new type of manufacturing offers the opportunity to drastically decrease weight, maintenance burden, and inventory required in manufacturing. Onsite 3D printing of aircraft parts could reduce the amount of inventory required to be kept both on the ground and in the air, decreasing the storage space required for aerospace manufacturers.
In terms of R&D, graphene-enhanced 3D printing drastically reduces the time to market as 3D printing prototypes can provide testing materials with significantly lower cost and turnaround time from conventional prototypes. Evidence of the potential power of 3D printing, namely using graphene-enhanced materials, is clear when considering the recent investments made by companies such as Boeing, NASA, GE, Lockheed Martin, and federal governments to invest in this new technology. Boeing already has 22,000 3D printed parts on their aircrafts, and GE has recently invested $50 million in 3D printing technology. Also, the aerospace industry in the UK was awarded 154 million pounds for new technologies, such as the 3D printing of aircraft parts. Imagine the potential for 3D printing with functionality built into the print.
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