Fortify are the inventors and developers of Fluxprint, a magnetic 3D printing technology that uses resin to manufacture composites with optimized microstructures. Josh Martin, CEO and Co-Founder, now continues our series on the state of resin 3D printing with his insights.
3DPI: How have you seen resin-based 3D printing develop in recent years?
Josh Martin: In recent years, the resin-based printing application space has moved from prototyping to manufacturing. Vat-based printing has always had respectable throughput and part quality (accuracy, surface finish, etc.), but functional materials are relatively new to the field and long overdue.
3DPI: In your opinion, what are the next technological obstacles to overcome for photopolymer-based 3D printing?
Josh Martin: One area of opportunity with photopolymer-based printing is in whatever comes after a part is printed. I believe post-processing is an underrated part of the manufacturing process. The reality is that post-processing in a reliable and scalable way is what usually breaks a cost model.
3DPI: What applications of vat light curing do you see as underdeveloped by the market, and why?
Josh Martin: Vat light curing is capable of producing the most complex geometries – period. There are many applications that rely on geometric complexity to create value, including heat exchangers and radio frequency devices (antenna and radar for example). Fortify is focused on developing new classes of materials for photopolymer printing that take advantage of geometric complexity.
3DPI: Where are the material development opportunities with respect to vat light-curing technology?
Josh Martin: Architected materials are a huge opportunity for in-vessel curing technology to control the space it takes up as the most scalable way to produce complex parts. The limiting factor today is the range of material properties addressable by vat photopolymers. There are significant opportunities in electronic materials that we are pursuing – the market opportunity given the current state of the global microelectronics supply chain calls for innovation.
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Featured image shows 3D printed Luneburg type RF lenses. Photo via fortify.