Just a few days ago we reported on a massive research and development effort under way in Canada around the 3D printing of graphene, by a company called Grafoid. Graphene, which is composed of a single layer of carbon atoms, is insanely strong, 100 times stronger then steel. I don’t even know if Superman was that strong. If you were to balance a pencil on its tip on a single sheet of graphene, and then had an elephant stand on the eraser side, that sheet of graphene would not break.
This is why there seems to be tremendous excitement when companies begin to discuss the combination of one of the worlds most interesting materials, with probably the most interesting manufacturing technology within the market today, 3D printing.
A graphite mining company, Kibaran Resources, and an Australian 3D printer manufacturer, 3D Group, have recently teamed to form a joint venture called 3D Graphtech Industries, which was created in order to study applications for graphene and graphite within 3D printing. Today, that partnership expanded a bit, to include CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).
CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency, and is in fact one of the most diverse and largest research agencies on the planet. They operate institutions in over 50 locations throughout the country, as well as overseas. The initial agreement, signed with 3D Graphtech Industries, will be to investigate research opportunities within the area of 3D printing, using graphite and graphene ‘inks’. The agreement will focus primarily on identifying technical problems within the current market, and figure out what solutions could be presented to correct these problems.
“The company is very pleased this initial step has been taken by Graphtech less than two months after the binding alliance with 3D Group was executed,” executive director Andrew Spinks said.
The initial research is expected to take approximately six weeks, and if successful, the partnership would likely be extended for a longer period of time.
“We are particularly delighted the first agreement is with an internationally respected research organisation such as the CSIRO. Kibaran, via Graphtech, is aiming to give its shareholders exposure to a very exciting and emerging new technological frontier.”
With Grafoid’s recent expansion last week, combined with what 3D Graphtech Industries and CSIRO are working on, and the recent interest taken by 3D Printing leader Stratasys, in their partnership with Graphene Technologies, there should be marked progress in this area very quickly.
Let’s hear your thoughts about the potential uses of graphene within the additive manufacturing space, and what it could mean for manufacturing in general, in the 3D printing graphene forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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