Designing New Materials for Additive Manufacturing: Vat Photopolymerization


3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), provides opportunities to create previously unattainable geometric objects through layer-by-layer fabrication. Novel macromolecular structures and synthetic methods coupled with unique printing methods lead to 3D part generation with micron-scale resolution and tunable to emerging technologies.

By tuning polymer structure, printing type, and printing parameters, structures can be fabricated suitable for: drug delivery, controlled release fertilizers, satellites, aerospace and more. We will highlight structure-property-processing relationships for the design of advanced materials for additive manufacturing.

Two case studies will be presented. In each, the synergy of chemistry and mechanical engineering will be demonstrated.

  • Microstereolithography of poly(amic diethyl acrylate ester)s to produce 3D structured thermoplastic polyimide
  • Successful low temperature material extrusion (below 80 °C) of poly(ether ester) ionomers for the inclusion of biologics and therapeutics with micron-scale resolution

About the Speakers

Dr. Timothy Long is Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech and Director of the university's Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII). He has over 50 patents in the field of macromolecular science and engineering, and more than 240 peer-reviewed publications. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the AAAS. Dr. Long maintains a vigorous partnership with diverse industries with a focus on novel macromolecular structure to tailor properties and processing. His group's continuing research goal is to integrate fundamental research in novel macromolecular structure and polymerization processes with the development of high performance macromolecules for advanced technologies.

Professor Christopher Williams is the director of the DREAMS laboratory that designs and researches additive manufacturing systems, and associate director of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute. His contributions have been recognized by eight Best Paper awards at international design, manufacturing, and engineering education conferences. He is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2013), the 2012 International Outstanding Young Researcher in Freeform and Additive Fabrication Award, and the 2010 Emerald Engineering Additive Manufacturing Outstanding Doctoral Research Award.