Collaborative Project Focuses on Development of Advanced Materials for 3D Printing and 4D Printing

Share this Article

Brightlands Materials Center is a research and development center focused on polymeric materials, or plastics. Plastic isn’t exactly what most people think of when imagining a sustainable future, but Brightlands is dedicated to promoting the responsible use of polymeric materials as it develops advanced applications. The center has three major areas of focus: Lightweight Automotive, Sustainable Buildings and Additive Manufacturing.

The last is the center of a new project that Brightlands is working on with several partners:

An example of a self-healing material [Image: University of Melbourne]

The four-year project will develop new polymeric materials for use in 3D printing and 4D printing. The goal is to create new products with improved and novel properties, and the materials will be based on the recently developed concepts of dynamic and reversible chemistry. Dynamic polymers such as vitrimers are a new class of materials with properties such as self-healing. Self-healing materials have been an area of interest in 3D printing lately, with potential applications ranging from electronic devices to cartilage replacements.

The project has identified three areas of focus for new polymeric materials. The first is selective laser sintering, or SLS, which involves the use of a laser to merge individual polymer particles. Like any other area of additive manufacturing, selective laser sintering has its issues – if the particles merge inefficiently, the final part will have poor mechanical properties. Brightlands Materials Center and its partners plan to develop new materials that will improve the merging process by reversibly reducing their viscosity and flowing more easily together. The materials will also have better bond formation across particle boundaries.

The second area of focus will be 4D printing. 4D printing involves the use of dynamic materials that respond to stimuli such as temperature change to shift their shapes, changing their forms and then reverting back to their original forms. The Brightlands project will combine additive manufacturing techniques such as 3D inkjet printing and stereolithography with responsive liquid crystalline polymer networks. Approaches will include the exploration of hierarchical structures like those found in nature.

[Image: Brightlands Materials Center]

Finally, the project will explore biofabrication. Biofabrication involves the 3D printing of living tissue. Several promising applications have already arisen from the development of bioprinting, such as living tissue for pharmaceutical testing, and the ultimate goal of most players in the bioprinting field is to develop 3D printed, working organs that can be transplanted into human patients. That goal is still some distance away, however, as biofabrication or bioprinting still has plenty of limitations.

“Currently, there are limitations because there is a lack of well‐defined and customizable synthetic systems that allow for precise control over material properties and the bioactivation of the material,” explains Brightlands Materials Center.

The project will develop reversible and mechanically instructive materials that will enable the exploration of the ability to influence stem cell behavior.

3D printing, no matter which technology is being used, is only as effective as its materials, and while materials have advanced greatly in recent years, there are still plenty of limitations. The project being undertaken by Brightlands and its partners will be another step forward in the development of materials that may allow for truly advanced 3D and 4D printing applications.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

 

Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Related Articles

Interview with Jose Manuel Baena of Regemat 3D and Breca Health Care

European Bioprinting Company regenHU is Paving the Way in Therapeutical Bioprinting



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Interview with Alok Anil of Next Big Innovation Labs

This interview features Alok Medikepura Anil. He has great subject matter expertise within the realms of engineering and policy. His knowledge will give some people insight into how 3D bioprinting is reliant upon policy within the future.

Porous Metallic Biomaterials Rely on Additive Manufacturing Processes for Substitute Bone Regeneration Structures

In ‘Additively manufactured porous metallic biomaterials,’ Amir A. Zadpoor explores porous metallic biomaterials in research for bone tissue regeneration, discussing elements such as design, manufacturing, and bio-functionalization—as well as examining...

Aspect Biosystems Heads $2.2 Million Project with New Microfluidic 3D Bioprinting Platform

Aspect Biosystems, headquartered in Vancouver, has created a new microfluidic 3D bioprinting platform to further the progress of tissue engineering. In a collaboration with Merck, GSK, and McGill University’s Goodman...

Electrospinning Fibers for Better Success in 3D Printing Biomimetic Scaffolds

In ‘Three-dimensional printed electrospun fiber-based scaffold for cartilage regeneration,’ Chinese researchers attempt to improve on processes for creating better materials and customized geometries in bioprinting. Here, they not only employ...


Training


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!