Mechanical and materials engineering assistant professors Bai Cui and Prahalada Rao will collaborate with Tethon 3D on a project to design and produce a ceramic/metal 3-D printer after receiving a grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
Tethon 3D specializes in the production of ceramic filaments, resins and powders used in 3-D printing. With this project, the company is venturing into the production of printing hardware.
The project, which began recently, will create the first commercially available desktop digital light processing (DLP) printer designed specifically for ceramic and metal additive manufacturing. Currently, there are a few desktop printers that can process ceramics and metals, but most of their processes use plastic photopolymers and are less suitable for the processing of other materials.
Cui and Rao have expertise in both additive manufacturing and 3-D printing.
Cui is an expert in developing ceramic materials for additive manufacturing. Rao is one of the directors of the NEAT Labs, which operate three hybrid 3-D printers that can be used for additive manufacturing, and specializes in 3-D printing hardware.
“The Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering is excited for this opportunity to work with Tethon 3D on developing 3D printing technology,” says Jeffrey Shield, department chair and Robert W. Brightfelt Professor of Engineering. “Professors Rao and Cui have the complementary expertise to contribute to this project in a number of ways, and Tethon 3D is a recognized leader in developing outstanding technology.”
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Academic Research and Development Program supports partnerships between Nebraska entrepreneurs and academic institutions.
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