Graphmatec develops 3D printable graphene filament

Swedish graphene nanocomposite materials developer Graphmatech, and Add North 3D, a manufacturer of desktop and industrial use 3D printer filaments, have teamed up to develop a new range of materials for use with FFF/FDM technology.

Graphene-based, the new 3D printer filaments are highly conductive, ideal for thermal and electrical applications.

Scaleable graphene production 

Graphmatech was founded in 2017 by materials scientist Dr. Mamoun Taher and serial entrepreneur Björn Lindh. Prior to founding the company Dr. Taher discovered a method to design and manufacture a graphene hybrid material called Aros Graphene. Key to this development is that the production process is scaleable – a feat that is notoriously difficult to complete with the single-atom graphene.

Dr. Taher patented the Aros Graphene production method in September 2017, and Lindh came on board to help commercialize the material.

The first market-ready products from Graphmatech are expected in 2019.

Björn Lindh, co-founder of Graphmatech, holds up a sample of Aros Graphene. Photo via Graphmatech
Björn Lindh, co-founder of Graphmatech, holds up a sample of Aros Graphene. Photo via Graphmatech

Sustainable filaments

Add North 3D is a filament manufacturer primarily concerned with producing more-sustainable plastics like PLA which is made from renewable resources like corn starch. Some of the company’s bioplastic research is funded by Swedish governmental innovation agencies Vinnova and Almi.

In the 3D printer filaments from Graphmatech and Add North 3D, Aros Graphene is dispersed within a polymer. When the products come to market, they are expected to be a cornerstone of Add North 3D’s international expansion.

A spool of Add North 3D filament. Photo via Add North 3D
A spool of Add North 3D filament. Photo via Add North 3D

3D printed graphene 

Heralded as “the strongest material ever tested” and an incredibly efficient conductor, graphene holds tremendous potential for a multitude of different sectors, from consumer electronics through to airplane manufacture. However, much of graphene’s potential comes from deploying the material in it’s monolayer form at a larger scale than is economically realistic.

For this reason, researchers across the globe are seeking new ways to work with the material. By applying 3D printing, researchers at Rice University have managed to create a graphene foam. At Kansas State University a 3D printed graphene aerogel. And a collaboration between the Chinese government and the Harbin Institute of Technology has produced a graphene-oxide based 3D printer ink.

Graphmatech and Add North 3D’s Aros Graphene filament is currently undergoing beta testing, which is scheduled for completion within the next 6 to 12 months.

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Featured images shows Graphmatech co-founders Björn Lindh (left) and Dr. Mamoun Taher (right) with a sample of Aros Graphene. Photo via Graphmatech