The real story started when I had to improved resin formulations used for 3D printers for one of the biggest company in this field. I realized at this time that it existed mainly medium quality resins in the market and they were really expensive.
So, I have been thinking about developing an affordable high-resolution photo-polymer for 3D printers and i thought that this was a crazy challenge. After a period of trials and errors, i managed to formulate my first resin that i 3D printed with a real success.
Since, i decided to commercialize a range of photo-polymer resins for 3D printers and my wishes are that you could enjoy these new 3D-Materials soon.
Who i am and what i am doing ?
My name is Jemmel Belkacem, consultant in polymer materials. I am graduate in chemistry with a Master of science and i have over 10 years R&D experiences in UV curing polymer, 3D printing and materials characterizations.
I have a strong background in polymer formulations and I am recognized as a creative person with excellent analytical thinking.
Futhermore, i was the main inventor of a patented resin formulation for the stereolitography in 2010 (Europe Patent n°10186358.7 - 1253 / EP2436510). This invention relates to a system and a resin for rapid prototyping and manufacturing of 3D objects (Araldite Digitalis® project).
Why I started this challenge ?
The idea came to me after my different professional experiences in resin formulations, I have been thinking about developing new resins for 3D printer using UV curing technology known as stereolotography (Laser and DLP systems).
What sets me apart ?
Since I started working in this field, I noticed suppliers sell us photo-polymer resins with medium quality and delivers only poor properties, furthermore they are quite expensive !
So, I decided to developed an affordable high resolution photo-polymer resins for 3D printers by myself.
Keys to success ?
During the last years i developed new photo-polymer resins for 3D printing.
I would like to use and implement my knowledge and technical skills which i have acquired to develop new materials.
I believe that my enthusiasm and my background would ideally match for this new challenge.
My accomplishments ?
At this date, I succeeded creating the first photo-polymer resins formulation and the target is to make a 3D-Resins for everyone.
So, I want to bring in the market an affordable resins with high-resolution and good mechanical properties.
What exactly are the problems ?
- low polymerization speed
- bad accuracy
- significant shrinkage
- medium mechanical properties
- low shelf-life
- high viscosity
- limited color range
How exactly I will address the problems ?
Raw materials: bibliographic search and selection of candidates monomers and oligomers as well resins suppliers.
- Polymerization speed : the effect of the photoinitiator concentration and the light intensity on cure depth of a polymerized network can be examined to create a theoretical model.
- Accuracy: the measure of linear shrinkage in X and Y will enable us to calculate and integrate a compensation linear coefficient shrinkage during the polymerization.
- Shrinkage : a model clarifies the relationship between curing depth, the energy dosage and the photoinitiator concentration on the polymerization process.
- Mechanical properties: the mechanical properties will be optimized through the materials characterization measurements by DMA, DSC, and the flexural strength.
- Viscosity : the formulation will allow us to play with the viscosity diversity between the raw materials
- Colors : the dyes integration in the resins will allow us to use a palette of colors.
- Shelf-life : addition of different stabilizer and study in extreme conditions of temperature and environment.
- 3D printer tests : during this campaign, i will set up a resins approval period on 3D printers existing in the market.
What I will be doing and why ?
- Resin type : For the time being, i am going to only produce acrylate resins. I personally enjoy printing with acrylate resins for his polymerization characteristics (curing-speed), mechanical properties (tough and flexible) and the post-processing ease (iso-propanol cleaning and short UV post-curing).
- Polymerization speed : For this, it is important that the spectral emission profiles of the UV-Visible light curing unit match with the absorption characteristics of the photoinitiator. We will adapt the photoinitiator to the wavelength emitted by UV light source of 3D-printers using Laser & DLP systems. The resins polymerize perfectly at the wavelenghts range used by most of 3D printers (between 365 to 405 nm) and for 25 to 100 µm layers thickness.
- Accuracy : To have a good printing accuracy we will work to control the resolution in X, Y and Z axis. Futhermore, on the cure depth during the resin polymerization.
- Shrinkage : Our resins will have an optimal deep penetration with the lowest energy to avoid the stress polymerization and reduce the shrinkage of the parts.
- Viscosity : From my experience in the 3D printing field, it seems that a good viscosity is less than 700 cPs to avoid losses and problems processing.Therefore, i plan to start with a low viscosity resins around 400 cPs.
- Colors : We will be offering a palette of colors. This includes white, gray, blue, red, orange and green resins.
- Shelf-life : Our resins will have a long shelf-life and could be guarantee between 6 months and 1 year at normal conditions storage.
- 3D printer tests : Beta-testers will be selected to achieve tests on their 3D printers in order to validate the compatibility of the new photopolymer resins. I will send an extra sample to the first participant who manifested their interest to be a beta-tester during the Indiegogo campaign.
What I need & what you get ?
I am asking for €20,000 to help cover some of the cost for equipments, raw materials, laboratory space and subcontracting.
In return, you will get a high-resolution resin at a lower cost.
So, you will be helping us to bring these affordable new materials to the 3D printing community.
Your contributions will go towards an industrial production, supplies costs such as labels and packaging bottles and the developement of new materials (R&D).
What is the delivery schedule ?
The project activities and durations are as follow :
- Funding period (6 weeks)
- Suppliers selection (during the funding period)
- Laboratory tests (during the funding period)
- 3D printer tests (1 week)
- Orders & shipping (2 weeks)
- Production & packing (2 weeks)
- Delivery time frame (1 or 2 weeks)
Base on this timeline, I will be ready to deliver the first 3D-resins samples in November 2013.
What I will do in the future ?
I will launch a survey after this campaign to study your tastes and preferences in order to develop new materials to meet your expectations.