Photocentric Innovator in Photopolymer, 3D Printing

Research

Pushing boundaries

Photocentric’s focus of research activity is the application of our novel visible light photopolymers used in collaboration with our patented LCD based 3D printers to mass manufacture parts.

Our goal is to create autonomous digital factories of the future, delivering scale, function and cost effectiveness.

Chemistry

Photocentric has an exceptional team of organic chemists working at the cutting-edge development of photopolymers. We work on photopolymerisation right across the spectrum, from UV to daylight. We are turning liquids into solids to deliver durable functional plastics in a scale previously unheard of with a range of materials covering all possible properties.

Engineering

As inventors of LCD 3D printing we research into every aspect of LCD screen driven 3D printing. We specify the design and construction of our display panels, so they do not degrade. We have designed monochrome screens and created and our own light engines, pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Masters of light

With our earliest granted visible light patent using LCD screens stretching back to Jan 2005 and 22 granted patents, we are the undisputed innovators in both LCD 3D printing and visible light polymerisation.

We use both daylight and UV in our LCD screen printers.
Daylight provides more even cure and enables deep, consistent penetration in particle rich slurries.

Software and electronics

We have written our own slicing and control software to manipulate 3D files into printable file formats. We have partnered with Core Technologie to deliver surface modification software to complement our Photocentric Studio.

Production parts

Under the LEAD research program we are creating an Industry 4.0 solution to the problem of making parts in the hundreds of thousands. At the heart of this innovation is our multi-screen LCD printing process.

Vision of 3D printed batteries

Solving a global problem

Photocentric is focussing research on the global issue of improving energy storage by construction conventional and solid-state batteries in 3 dimensions.

Ceramics

We have designed our own specific printers to print ceramics, the Ceramet range, optimised both alumina and silica loaded visible light curing polymers and developed printing, sintering and debinding processes. We are proud to be working on the mass manufacture of ceramics with the MTC.

Metals

We have printed various metals using LCD screens and visible light in both Nickel 718 and 17-4 PH stainless steel, achieving fine <100my resolutions and delivering 98% dense parts.

Research collaborations

We have an open policy towards research with any organization that widens the technology for all participants. Research with Universities is critical to the development of the science surrounding both UV and visible light polymerization from LCD screens in 3D printing. We are currently in partnership with over 20 universities and we welcome discussing any research projects.

Research grants

3D Carbide

The project is led by Photocentric, with MTC as a technical partner, Kanthal as an industrial user and the Cast Metal Federation and Glass Futures as organisations who will enable its transfer through their members.

Aerospace Electric Propulsion Equipment, Controls & Machines (AEPEC)

A £20m collaborative project  to electrify all the motors on an eroplane apart form its propulsion, with partners:

Safran Electrical & Power UK Ltd, Photocentric, Aero Stanrew Limited, 3T Additive Manufacturing Ltd, MEP Ltd  and Midland Tool & Design Ltd.

Scalable AM Rule Creation & Dissemination (SAMRCD)

AN ISCF TFI: large collaborative R&D projects led by Authentise Ltd, with partners Photocentric, ICD Applied Technologies Ltd, TWI Ltd and Materials Processing Institute.

AM4BAT

A Horizon Europe research project led by Leitat in Barcelona with Photocentric as the 3D printing partner.

LEAD Factory

A 2.5m project to create low energy digital factories of the future.

Led by Photocentric with Games Workshop, Essentra, Unipart Powertrains, The MTC and Authentise as partners.

CeramBatt

A Canada-UK Net Zero Value Chains – Transportation collaboration led by Photocentric with The MTC, The National Research Council of Canada and Electrovaya Inc

Proboscis

A Horizon project to create a robotic equivalent to the elephant’s trunk

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 863212

Intellectual property

We have a number of granted patents covering our methods of 3D printing using LCD screens and many more pending. For more information click here.