Polymerization process promises to expand 3D printing universe – TheFabricator.com

Length: 3:49

Imagine the cost savings possible if a mattress could be compressed two to seven times its normal size before shipping, then, after being heated 60 seconds upon delivery, revert to regular size.
Walter Voit, founder of Adaptive3D, a Desktop Metal company, said a polymer resin for 3D printing that his company is developing brings such a scenario within reach. “You could have a mattress the size of an organic chemistry textbook that you could ship as a solid, dense piece of plastic, then, in 60 seconds, have it pop open to a king size mattress,” said Voit.
During an interview with the Additive Reporter at the RAPID + TCT show in May, Voit explained that the behavior of the material, called FreeFoam, is made possible by the photo PIPS (photopolymerization-induced phase separation) process. “Essentially, we have these little balloons that are about 2 microns big within the printed part,” said Voit. “When heated to 160 C, they evolve a gas—CO2—that blows up the balloons.”
Besides mattresses, other applications for FreeFoam include car seats, pillows, shoes, and medical devices.
In this episode of The Fabricator Podcast, we speak with Antigone Sharris, Chairperson of the Engineering Technology Program…
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