Materials which have been engineered on this small scale have applications in many fields, from medical to electronics, because of their ability to take on unique electrical, magnetic, and optical properties, among others.
Dutch 3D printing specialist Tiamet 3D has been working with Finland-based Carbodeon to develop the first nanodiamond-enhanced 3D printing filaments, and the companies just announced that their first material will soon be officially launched.
Carbodeon CEO Dr Vesa Myllymäki said, “Nanodiamonds offer the potential to make 3D-printed components that perform as well as or better than comparable injection moulded components, but with massive cost reductions and production speed improvements, especially for prototype, on-demand and short run production.”
According to the Drexel Nanomaterials Group, nanodiamond powder, made up of diamond nanoparticles roughly 5 nm in size, is a very promising carbon nanomaterial for drug delivery applications. The particles are non-toxic, with a large surface and several unique properties. Carbodeon, a veritable nanodiamond expert that develops, manufactures, and supplies nanodiamond additives for a variety of applications, including CMP polishing, metal finishing, and polymer coatings, characterizes nanodiamonds as detonation-synthesized diamond nanoparticles.
According to the Carbodeon website, “Uniquely, the detonation process creates diamond particles with chemically functionalised surfaces, enabling the particles to be bound into the parent material to empower a host of exciting properties in various nanocomposites.”
The new 3D printing filaments by Tiamet 3D and Carbodeon, which should increase the performance of 3D printed polymers, are based on jointly-patented technology, which can improve the thermal and mechanical properties of 3D printed items.
“By joining forces we’ve already developed filaments with a 100 percent increase in tensile strength, improved printability, and better thermal properties. Printing also runs more quickly and more reliably with the addition of Carbodeon polymer-tailored nanodiamonds,” said Reid Larson, CEO of Tiamet 3D.
Tiamet 3D was founded four years ago to take on some of the main problems concerning desktop 3D printing, and was chosen in 2015 for the first startup boot camp smart materials accelerator in the Dutch city of Limburg. Ever since then, the company has been engaged in research and development efforts in order to develop the best functioning, high-strength materials for 3D printing.
Dr Myllymäki explains, “Product development partnerships with innovative companies like Tiamet 3D are a key part of Carbodeon’s global growth strategy.”
By using improved-performance thermoplastics in 3D printing, there is potential in nearly all manufacturing environments, but the aerospace, automotive, and electronics industries will enjoy the most benefits. Nanodiamonds can improve the conductivity, tensile strength, and thermal management of the base polymer, but even more importantly, the nanomaterial is capable of increasing the end product’s glass transition temperature in order to produce more reliable and robust polymer products that are well-suited for challenging manufacturing environments.
Carbodeon, which sells 3D printing filament products under its patented uDiamond brand, and Tiamet 3D have signed a strategic partnership agreement for joint filament development; another agreement denotes that Carboden will supply its nanodiamond materials to Tiamet 3D.
The first 3D printing filaments from the two companies will be PLA-based, and will be available from both Carbodeon and Tiamet 3D. However, the two will continue R&D work centered around more high-performing thermoplastics.
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