Graphene 3D Lab Inc., based in Calverton, New York, develops, manufactures and retails materials and devices to enhance 3D printing capabilities. Earlier this year, Graphene 3D Labs Inc. (“Graphene 3D”) announced the commercial launch of BlackMagic 3D, a conductive graphene filament designed for 3D printing of circuitry and sensor applications.
We caught up with Elena Polyakova Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer at Graphene 3D to learn about the company’s graphene-enhanced filament for 3D printing and recent developments in an exclusive AMazing® Q&A conversation.
AMazing®: Dr. Polyakova, thank you for your participation. We have heard a lot about graphene material because of its extraordinary material properties including high strength, flexibility and high conductivity. From a materials research standpoint, what discoveries did the company make that aided the development of Graphene 3D’s conductive graphene filament?
Dr. Polyakova: Graphene 3D Lab was founded as a spinout of Graphene Laboratories, Inc.; Graphene Labs participates in the development, manufacture, and sale of graphene materials, and discovered that graphene nanoplatelets are ideal as an additive for 3D printing materials. This led to the founding of Graphene 3D Lab, as a vehicle for the further development and commercialization of this discovery. We have spent many of our resources in optimizing the methods to production of graphene-enhanced 3D printing materials, but of course, the details of those improvements and technologies are generally proprietary. We do have several patents pending for our technology.
AMazing®: In March of this year, the company announced the commercial launch of Conductive Graphene Filament 3D, a conductive graphene filament designed for 3D printing of circuitry and sensor applications. How difficult was it to scale up the methodology used to manufacture Conductive Graphene Filament? What was the single biggest challenge?
Dr. Polyakova: There are many challenges related to the scale-up of any product, as some of the processes already exist and simply had to be implemented. However, there were also many processes which we have had to develop ourselves since it is a breakthrough material. We found developing the particular processes for making a cost-effective graphene filament to be the biggest challenge for commercialization, but the hard work required also turned out to be a great teambuilding exercise for our R&D department.
AMazing®: With the commercialization of Graphene 3D’s graphene-enhanced filament, have you had an opportunity to see a functional end-use product that really caught your attention? If so, what made it unique?
Dr. Polyakova: We have seen many fascinating projects done using our filament, however one of the most interesting projects I have seen, which we have developed in-house, is called STL to PCB. The project has been overviewed at the RAPID 2015 Conference, where it was met with a very positive reaction. The project is for a 3-layer PCB board made of Conductive Graphene Filament, which shows a functioning proof-of-concept for electronics developed with our offerings.
AMazing®: On the company’s website featuring Dr. Daniel Stolyarov, CEO of Graphene 3D, the video describes the development of a 3D printed battery using graphene as a key element. Has there been any further progress toward development of long-lasting, flexible, 3D printed battery using graphene-enhanced filament?
Dr. Polyakova: The 3D printed graphene battery project is still being developed and we are very much looking forward to offering more details on the technology in the future; however, I am unfortunately unable to share details of further developments at this time.
AMazing®: As stated in a recent press release, Graphene 3D and Ideum, a developer of large-scale smart-tables and walls, will co-develop products which can be used as capacitive sensors to interface with Ideum’s product offerings. Do you envision the development of new graphene-enhanced materials specifically for Ideum products?
Dr. Polyakova: Our standard Conductive Graphene Filament has turned out to be an ideal material for use with Ideum smart-devices. At this time, we are more focused on the actual commercialization of the end-use products than developing a new material for Ideum. For other companies which may require a different material for their application, we are always open to collaboration, and in fact, do have several agreements to co-develop new materials for several clients.
AMazing®: In the same press release, we understand Graphene 3D will offer an on-demand 3D printing service of coasters, joysticks and styluses for Ideum clients. Are there any plans to expand the on-demand service to other markets?
Dr. Polyakova: Yes. We are currently working on expanding our on-demand offerings, which is a great way for our clients to leverage the in-house expertise at Graphene 3D for developing their functional, 3D printed products. Our collaboration with Ideum turns out to be a great starting point for on-demand 3D printing at Graphene 3D, and we look forward to using the processes developed from meeting the needs of Ideum for many partnerships and new business opportunities.
AMazing®: The additive manufacturing (AM) industry is evolving so quickly with more machines, materials and improved processes. How will 3D printing of graphene-enhanced functional products be refined over the next few years? How will Graphene 3D meet the growing need for more and better material options for 3D printing?
Dr. Polyakova: Graphene 3D Lab is focused on the development and commercialization of technologies which will improve the capabilities of 3D printing. We aim to utilize graphene — a “wonder” material praised for its extraordinary strength and conductivity — to offer next generation functional materials for 3D printing and to establish a technology enabling the printing of entire operational devices in a one-step, fully-computerized process.
This concludes our interview. Thank you very much Dr. Polyakova for your participation. We are very grateful for the opportunity to learn about Graphene 3D and the company’s commitment to the development and commercialization of technologies which will improve the capabilities of 3D printing.
About Dr. Elena Polyakova
Dr. Elena Polyakova serves as Chief Operating Officer at Graphene 3D Lab. Dr. Polyakova is regularly invited to leading international conferences, she is well-known by players in industry and academia the world over. The scientific community regards her as an expert in two-dimensional materials. She is regularly contacted by journalists, including those from BBC and Bloomberg, as well as market analysts who are seeking her professional advice. Dr. Polyakova has co-authored papers with Nobel and Kavli prize winners, as well as members of the National Academy of Sciences.
About Graphene 3D Lab Inc.
Graphene 3D Lab Inc. is focused on the development and manufacturing of graphene-enhanced materials for 3D printing, with proprietary technologies aimed at augmenting the properties of materials currently used in 3D printers.
Graphene 3D Lab is a spinout of Graphene Laboratories, Inc., the worldwide leader in manufacturing and retailing graphene and advanced materials. The Graphene Supermarket, an e-commerce outlet owned by Graphene Laboratories, is an internationally recognized brand which maintains a client list comprised of more than 7000 customers worldwide; it includes many Fortune 500 tech companies and nearly every major research university. Some notable clients are: NASA, Ford Motor Co., Honda, GE, Apple, Xerox, Samsung, Bosch, LG, Harvard University, IBM, MIT, Caltech, Yale, Princeton and Stanford Universities.
Graphene 3D Lab’s executive staff is regularly invited to present at leading conferences on both graphene and 3D Printing. Invited talks have been given at 3D Printing LIVE! Europe, Nanotech 2013, and the International Materials Research Congress. The executive team’s internationally recognized leadership has also earned the attention of journalists from BBC, Bloomberg, PBS, and Physics World. Our scientific team has an extensive academic record which has resulted in many publications in highly prestigious journals such as Nano Letters, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, and ACS Nano; coauthors include Nobel and Kavli prize winners, as well as members of the National Academy of Sciences. Graphene 3D Lab, Inc.
For more information about Graphene 3D’s Conductive Graphene Filament press here.
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