Formulation for 3D printing: Creating a plug and play platform for a disruptive UK industry

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Div of Process and Environmental Eng

Abstract

3D printing lacks the materials required to fully become an established mass manufacturing process. Progress in materials development continues but a step change is required, and this will be realised through high throughput methods. High throughput discovery is an established methodology for automated identification of promising materials. At Nottingham it has been developed as tool for understanding biomaterials, and recently was instrumental in finding materials whose surface would resist bacterial attachment, potentially avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics. Here, drawing together a multi-disciplinary, cross-community team, we will adapt this philosophy to rapidly identify formulations that can be used for 3D printing in a range of sectors represented by our industry partners. This will enable the creation of a library of materials, material combinations and formulations that are proven for 3D printing (particularly ink jet, extrusion, hot melt extrusion). Whilst the formation of this methodology is an initially challenging and time consuming step, the establishment of this set of libraries will enable rapid adoption downstream whilst the methodology itself can be utilised by other sectors seeking materials. Our libraries will be readily extended to create a tool for UK industry for selection of 3D printing formulations.

Planned Impact

The main beneficiaries of this research will be the users and manufacturers of 3D printing equipment. To date, there has been limited choice of material for 3D printing, so whilst the future for 3DP is exciting, many of the desired objects are unable to be realised owing to an incomplete set of materials. Our aim is to rapidly identify promising materials for 3DP, determining the key sector specific properties and tabulating this in a readily available library.
The immediate beneficiaries of the work will be users of 3D printed products (represented across sectors by our industry partners), who will be able to use the sector specific library, and in future the validated high throughput methodology to produce 3D printable formulations without requiring significant resources - the company will be able to 'plug and play' when selecting materials for formulations.
This impact will be translated from the laboratory and through higher TRL levels through, for example, CPI, The National Formulation Centre and the proposed Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
Academic Beneficiaries will include research groups using 3D printing having a platform system for investigating highly sector specific research interests.
The ultimate beneficiaries will be consumers and users. The uptake of 3D printing offered by the widening of materials through design of formulations, will mean better and more efficacious products will be able to be produced. In the sectors with which we have chosen to engage, this will mean drug delivery systems tailored to patient, more environmentally friendly agrochemical application, engineering focused products that meet stringent materials properties requirements, home care products that are effective cleaning systems and more nutritious food.

Publications

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Gholamipour-Shirazi A (2019) Designing hydrocolloid based food-ink formulations for extrusion 3D printing in Food Hydrocolloids

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Parker M (2017) Mutual Complexation between p-p Stacked Molecular Tweezers in Crystal Growth & Design

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Rodriguez-Salvador M (2018) Revealing emerging science and technology research for dentistry applications of 3D bioprinting in International Journal of Bioprinting

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Salimi S (2019) Property enhancement of healable supramolecular polyurethanes in European Polymer Journal

 
Description We have developed a methodology to identify ink jet printable formulations.
Exploitation Route Our methodology can be employed by others to find 3D printable formulations.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description Our findings have been used to inform our Sector partners in the development of materials for additive manufacture. This has included Unilever, GSK, Malvern Instruments, PPG Inc and Syngenta. The findings are also being translated via the University of Nottingham spin out, Added Scientific Ltd, to the UK sector and beyond.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Y He - Visiting Researcher Fellowship (UoSeville)
Amount € 9,000 (EUR)
Organisation University of Seville 
Sector Academic/University
Country Spain
Start 10/2018 
End 11/2018
 
Title High throughput ink jet printability test 
Description We have developed a high throughput ink jet printability test that identifies materials with viscosity and surface tension within range of printability. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None as of yet. 
 
Description A Konta -participation in 'Family Discovery Day' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A Konta attended the outreach event 'Family Discovery Day at the University of Nottingham. The activity was called: "Plastics Vs Cells: Will the Super Bugs Win?" Children and parents entered into a battle of cells Vs plastics, trying to find the right material for the right cells.The event ws attended by more than 370 visitor. All the comments from the visitors were positive, the children seemed to love the activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description L Hart - Advanced Polymers via Macromolecular Engineering 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact L Hart, (UoR) made a poster presentation at the Advanced Polymers via Macromolecular Engineering, poster title: Inkjet Printable Supramolecular Polymers: From 2D to 3D. The focus of the APME2017 meeting was on macromolecular engineering for the design of advanced polymeric structures, in connection to their characterisation and recent applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description L Hart - Poster presentation at the EPSRC Future Formulation II conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact L Hart (UoR) made a poster presentation "Supramolecular Polymers for 3D Printing" at the EPSRC Future Formulation II conference. The poster presenting research progress on the project was well received.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2018
 
Description L Hart - RSC Organic Division South-West Regional Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact L Hart (UoR), was a speaker at the RSC Organic Division South-West Regional Meeting. His presentation title was: Supramolecular Polymer Networks: Healable and Printable Materials.This meeting celebrated and showcased the organic chemistry conducted in the South West, with speakers who enthralled and educated the attendees on areas of current study in the South West.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description L Hart - poster presentation at the Recent Appointees in Polymer Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact L Hart made a poster presentation at the Recent Appointees in Polymer Science, Inkjet Printable Supramolecular Polymers: From 2D to 3D. Recent Appointees in Polymer Science (RAPS) is a network for young academic and industrial scientists working in any area of polymer science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description L Hart -Presentation at Supramolecular Polymer Networks- PLEASE CHECK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact L Hart (UoR) made a presentation at the Supramolecular Polymer Networks, Healing and Beyond (8-9th October 2018), title AMI Self-Healing Materials
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description L Ruiz et al - poster presentation at Biofabrication 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact L Ruiz-Cantu, Z Zhou, V Taresco, D Irvine, R Hague, C Tuck and R Wildman,: poster presentation at the Biofabrication 2018, title: Formulating for 3D printing: high throughput formulation and screening of inks for 3D printing multi- functional drug delivery implants. The aim of the conference is to provide a broad communication platform for the multi-disciplinary community to enable researchers, clinicians and industry participants to exchange and disseminate the recent scientific discoveries, research activities, development and emerging applications in the field of Biofabrication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2018
 
Description L Ruiz et al: poster presentation at the Macro Group UK Young Research Meeting 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact L Ruiz-Cantu made a presentation at the Macro Group UK Young Research Meeting, titled Synthetic biodegradable formulations for inkjet 3D printing personalised drug-eluting implants obtained by the combinatorial synthesis and high throughput screening of UV cross linkable polymers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description R Wildman - Presentation at RSC Future Formulation Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact R Wildman made a presentation at the RSC Future Formulation Event, on the research project , 'Formulation for 3D Printing' .
This is a recurring event, which took place at the University of Durham (FF I in 2017) and University of Nottingham (FF II in 2018).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description R Wildman - Presentation at CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact R Wildman, R. made a presentation at CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, 'Advances in 3D Printing (with a healthcare perspective)'. The presentation was followed by questions on project progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description R Wildman - Presentation at Irish Polymers and Materials Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact R Wildman made a presentation at the Irish Polymers and Materials Conference, IT Tallaght Dublin, 'Formulation for 3D Printing - challenges and solutions' .
This conference, organised jointly by the SCI All Ireland Group and Materials Chemistry Group,looked at recent advances in materials for AM plus what are still seen as unmet needs. This was the first Irish conference on materials for AM and will be relevant to academics and industrialists, both Irish and International.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description R Wildman - presentation at Additive International conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact R Wildman and Ff3DP team attended the Additive International conference. He made a presentation with title: 'Materials: the more the merrier!' The conference was attended by more than 360 delegates and exhibitors from 20 countries. The participation to the event contributed to start of building new relationship with other researchers in the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description RW: Presentation at Formnext International Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact R Wildman made a presentation at Formnext International Exhibition, Frankfurt, '3D Printing of Pills' (Nov 2018).Formnext is a leading exhibition and conference dedicated to additive manufacturing and all of its upstream and downstream processes. The presentation led to follow on enquiries on research carried out in the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description RW: Presentation at ICL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact R Wildman, was invited to make a presentation at Imperial College London,"3D printable materials for drug delivery". The presentation was followed by discussions with the researchers. Plans for further collaboration were made.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2018
 
Description Y He et al - presentation at the University of Cadiz 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact He Y., made a presentation at the University of Cadiz, title "The Application of 3D printing for biomedical device: high-throughput formulating and multi-functional AM process" (other authors from the University of Nottingham: Clark E.A., Khaled S., Ruiz-Cantu, L., Zhou Z., Irvine D., Robert C., Hague R., Tuck C., Wildman R).
The presentation was very well received and plans for future collaboration were made.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Y He et al- University of Seville presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact He Y., Clark E.A., Khaled S., Ruiz-Cantu, L., Zhou Z., Irvine D., Robert C., Hague R., Tuck C., Wildman R. made a presentation at the University of Seville, title : "The Application of 3D printing for biomedical device: high-throughput formulating and multi-functional AM process". The presentation was followed by discussions,the researchers at the Seville University were interested in future collaboration and currently a research publication is in progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Z Zhou - invited lecture at De Montfort University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Z Zhou was invited to give a lecture on 'Additive Manufacturing' for 1st-year Physics students in De Montfort University. Presentation was given to an audience of 23 students and it was followed by further questions and discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Z Zhou - presentation to the Shaanxi Silk Road International Symposium for Distinguished Young Scholars Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Z Zhou was invited to give a presentation to the Shaanxi Silk Road International Symposium for Distinguished Young Scholars Forum. His presentation 'Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing' was given to an audience of 30 academics mainly from Xi'an Architecture and Technology University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2016
 
Description Z Zhou et al- poster presentation at the Macro Group UK Young Research Meeting 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Z Zhou made a presentation at the Macro Group UK Young Research Meeting, title: A Combinatorial Approach to Discover Polymer Formulations for Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017