Today’s polymers for three-dimensional printing work well to help designers create product prototypes.
PolySpectra engages the power of stereolithographic printing, a computer-guided 3-D printing technology, around since the 1980s, that cures polymers with patterned ultraviolet light.
Unlike 3-D printing based on resin filaments, where printers painstakingly layer strands of heated polymers to form components, stereolithographic printers rapidly form parts with fine details.
Most of the stereolithographic printers depend on acrylate or epoxy polymers, “Which tend to be brittle and break if dropped,” Weitekamp says.
Poured into a stereolithographic printer tray, the mixture cures when exposed to patterned UV light that shines through a window at the bottom of the tray.
If successful, he’ll follow on the heels of competing start-up Carbon3D, which has attracted more than $140 million to develop its own novel 3-D materials and a proprietary printer.
Weitekamp’s technology combines new chemistry with the printers already installed in prototype facilities.