3D Printing

Stratasys and Graphene Tech Partner for 3D Printed Graphene

On June 26 of this year, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved $8.9 million in funding for 11 new projects that join together American and Israeli companies, one of which may have significant impact on the future of 3D printing.  Among the eleven projects (PDF), which range from pluggable transceivers to systems for testing pesticides in water, is one that will see Stratasys partner with Graphene Technologies to “develop Graphene enhanced 3D printing materials.”

stratasys and graphene technologies partnerGraphene has unique properties that offer a distinct advantage in 3D printing and manufacturing of any kind.  The material is made of a single sheet of carbon atoms, making it extremely thin, flexible and lightweight, yet extremely strong.  Additionally, graphene conducts both heat and electricity very well.  3D printing with graphene, which other companies are currently exploring as well, could mean creating anything from lightweight aerospace parts to flexible, electronic components.

Details about the projects have yet to emerge, but the eleven proposals sound rather unique:

  • ColorChip (Yokne’am, Israel) and Gigoptix (San Jose, CA) will develop next generation pluggable transceivers
  • DVP Technologies (Tel Aviv, Israel) and DVTEL (Ridgefield Park, NJ) will develop video surveillance for sea and waterside applications
  • Evogene (Rechovot, Israel) and Marrone Bio Innovations (Davis, CA) will develop novel agricultural insect control products from microbial sources
  • Galileo Satellite Navigation Ltd. (Rishon Le Zion, Israel) and Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (San Jose, CA) will develop software GNSS implementation
  • Genome Compiler Ltd. (Jerusalem, Israel) and Amyris (Emeryville, CA) will develop “Biofab” – synthetic biology software platform-as-a-service
  • iReveal Design Automation (Nazareth, Israel) and Alphabyte Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) will develop scalable end-to-end verification
  • Lightapp (Herzliya, Israel) and Pratt Industries (Conyers, GA) will develop resource optimization for paper manufacturing facilities
  • Mekorot (Tel Aviv, Israel) and ANP Technologies (Newark, DE) will develop an automated test system for detection of pesticides in waters
  • Stratasys (Rechovot, Israel) and Graphene Technologies (Novato, CA) will develop Graphene enhanced 3D printing materials
  • TeleMessage (Petach Tikva, Israel) and Sprint (Overland Park KS) will develop secure RCS messaging
  • ZDF Medical (Tiberias, Israel) and Molex/ Polymicro Technologies (Downers Grove, IL) will develop technology for high energy delivery devices for medical applications

In addition to the $8.9 million via the BIRD Foundation, the projects selected by the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) and the Chief Scientist’s Office of the Israeli Ministry of Economy will receive $16 million in funding from the private sector.  Dr. Phillip Singerman, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and co-Chairman of BIRD’s Board of Governors,  explains that much of this funding will go towards smaller businesses, “Once again we had a very robust set of proposals from which we chose the 11 winning projects. The proposing US companies are from 14 States and range in size from 3 employees to 40,000. As we have seen over the past several years, increasingly small US companies are participating in the BIRD program, learning from their Israeli counterparts in a true partnership. This year 75% of the proposing US companies are under 500 employees.”

We’ve been hearing about graphene and its proposed use in 3D printing for some time now.  Hopefully, we’ll soon be able to see some results.