Nebraska-based 3D printing materials manufacturer Tethon 3D has added a new patent to its IP portfolio. Granted October 22, 2019, the technology in question relates to a method of binder jet 3D printing for ceramics, metals, polymers or other powdered materials.
Company President Trent Allen has called the patent grant “a proud moment” for the team. “A lot has changed at Tethon since we filed this patent in 2015,” Allen added, “However, we were and still are a materials company at heart.
“We hope finding the right partner to bring this hardware technology to market will reignite the binder jetting market.”
Tethon 3D’s resin and powdered material expertise
Founded in 2014, Tethon 3D is probably best known for its production of 3D printable ceramic materials. Theses are available from the company in a wide range of photocurable resins, as well as the Tethonite range of powders and binder for inkjet 3D printing processes. In addition to ceramics, the company also produces metallic 3D printing materials, such as the Ferrolite® Iron Resin.
Awarded a grant from the University of Nebraska in 2018, Tethon 3D received the support it needed to launch its own DLP 3D printer, the Bison 1000, suitable for printing ceramic and metallic resins. All objects created on this machine are green parts, and require debinding and baking post-process to become solid. The binder jet technology realized in the new patent follows similar principles as Karen Linder, CEO of Tethon 3D explains, “Along with optimized spreading we believe this technology is necessary to create fully dense objects.
“While we’ve used our prototype printer for ceramic applications we also see immense value in better particle distribution when using this improved technology to print with metals or polymers.”
Binder jet competition
With its invention of a binder jet 3D printer, Tethon 3D is potentially entering a market currently dominated by large, industrial machines from the likes of ExOne, Digital Metal, Desktop Metal, HP and GE (in it’s forthcoming H2 system).
Backed by material expertise in this area, and an awareness of the technology’s current commercial capabilities, Tethon 3D has great potential to compete within the binder jet market. The company is currently seeking a partner to help bring its ideas into fruition.
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Featured image shows a high alumina ceramic 3D print of a gear made using DLP technology. Photo via Tethon.