Our patented Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD) is an industrial-grade 3D printing technology that involves the simultaneous extrusion of medical- and engineering-grade thermoplastic and jetting selective additives at each voxel (3D pixel) wherever they are needed to change the characteristic of the material.
APD enables us to bind thermoplastic filament with functional inks. For easy support removal, this is Release One. For detailed text and images, this is Marking Ink that is jetted anywhere and anytime it’s called for in the file to print directly onto parts. In future releases, we’ll expand this capability to encompass the complete CMYK color profile for full, photorealistic color 3D printing on thermoplastic parts.
We will also come out with other functional materials, such as conductive, thermo-insulating and thermo-conducting inks. You’ll be able to create active smart sensors so that you can actually have a 3D printed part with active materials in it. You’ll be able to create a battery within a 3D printed structure. The sky’s the limit.
One specific application we’re working on is the ability to change the mechanical properties of the plastic by coating it with a flexible additive in order to produce comfortable, but effective hearing aids. Many of the world’s hearing aids today are 3D printed with SLA technology, which limits the structure of the device to one material property. We’ll be able to 3D print them in such a way that the interior channel of the aid is rigid, so that sound can bounce through the hearing canal, while the exterior is coated in soft, flexible material so that it fits comfortably within a wearer’s ear.
How APD works:
- Prepare your file: Rize’s breakthrough software automatically prepares your CAD file for 3D printing with one click – even imperfect files.
- 3D print your part: Rize One heats and extrudes Rizium™ One, our engineering- and medical-grade thermoplastic filament, to form the part’s support. An industrial print head jets Release One ink wherever it’s needed between the part and its support structure, to weaken the bond between these two layers. Rize One continues to extrude Rizium One layer by layer until the part is complete. A special Ink is jetted between the layers of thermoplastic as needed to change material properties voxel by voxel. Marking Ink is also jetted wherever and whenever it’s called for in your file to produce detailed text and images in and on the part.
- Release the support: Simply release the 3D printed part from its support structure cleanly, safely and in seconds with your bare hands; without any filing or sanding, your part is ready to use.