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Tethon 3D, a Nebraska-based ceramic 3D printing specialist, has been issued a new additive manufacturing materials patent.
U.S. patent number 11,126,088, titled “Photopolymer Development Resin Base for Use with Three-dimensional Printer”, covers the company’s ‘Genesis’ product line of base resins. Although Genesis resins aren’t suitable for 3D printing on their own, they serve as a development base and can be mixed with solid powdered additives to formulate polymer-based composites which can be 3D printed on SLA and DLP systems.
“Genesis is a line of multiple resins,” explains Greg Pugh, CTO of Tethon 3D. “By formulating an evolving line of resin bases that accomplish specific goals, like high loading and physical flexibility, it allows for a border range of solid materials to be added into the Genesis line. The Tethon team and other material developers can use Genesis in potentially infinite ways to develop specialty materials that perform specific applications.”
Ceramic 3D printing with Tethon 3D
Tethon 3D is a leading provider in the relatively niche ceramic resins market space. The firm offers a wide variety of composite materials for use with its Bison 1000 DLP 3D printer, including Graphenite, Cordierite, and Mullite for electronics and high-temperature applications, Bison High Alumina for corrosion-resistant components, and Ferrolite Iron for magnetic metal parts.
Back in April 2021, Tethon 3D was also granted a patent covering its UV resin materials technology. U.S. Patent 10,981,326, ‘Three-Dimensional Printed Objects with Optimized Particles for Sintering and Controlled Porosity’, relates to the particle shape properties that enable improved sintering results in parts 3D printed via SLA, DLP, and UV-based jetting processes. The document also covers a number of characteristics of 3D printed green-state structures.
More recently, the firm also partnered with Fortify, the Boston-based company behind the Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) 3D printing platform, to develop new technical ceramics for additive manufacturing. Using Fortify’s FLUX CORE printer and Flux Developer software, Tethon has already developed two new ceramic materials at its R&D facility in Omaha, NE.
Just this month, Tethon 3D announced a partnership with additive manufacturing materials company Mechnano to develop a novel high-temperature, ESD-safe resin for 3D printing. Named C-lite, the material can withstand temperatures of up to 225°C and uses Mechnano’s proprietary carbon nanotube (CNT) technology to dissipate static.
The Genesis resin development base
Since its launch in 2016, the Genesis line has been leveraged by hundreds of customers, over a dozen of which have been in the Fortune 500. The development base is intended to provide an accessible route to materials R&D, allowing users to produce custom 3D printing resins without worrying about the lower-level materials science details. In essence, the resin acts as a “binder precursor material with the capacity to accept solid powder or liquids for UV printing.”
By adding custom ingredients to Genesis, users can formulate a whole host of ceramics, including alumina, zirconia, silica, silicon carbide, hydroxyapatite materials, and many more. The company affirms that its materials are suitable for applications in aerospace, automotive, biomedical devices, dentistry, jewelry, and electronics.
“We’ve found that companies in the semiconductor industry want to use the same powder they use in traditional manufacturing methods as they adopt additive manufacturing,” adds Trent Allen, Tethon 3D CEO. “Dental labs want to use the same zirconia powders used in milling, and defense firms want to use the same ceramics, carbides, and metals they have successfully sent to space since the ‘60s.”
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Featured image shows sinterable ceramic parts 3D printed using Tethon 3D resins. Photo via Tethon 3D.