2023 RadLaunch Class Includes Advances in Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing

Created to recognize innovative startups and innovators for ultraviolet and electron beam (UV/EB) technologies, RadTech, the UV/EB industry association, has announced its RadLaunch Class of 2023. Award chairs were Dr. Darryl Boyd, research chemist, US Naval Research Laboratory, and co-founder and senior scientist for Science Made Simple; and Mike Idavacage, Radical Curing LLC.

Axtra3D, Hybrid PhotoSynthesis (HPS)

Hybrid PhotoSynthesis (HPS) technology is a potentially transformative hybrid light engine solution for Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing. Laser and DLP are two of the traditional light engines used to cure photopolymers for 3D printing, but each comes with tradeoffs. Lasers offer high accuracy, surface quality and scalability but lack print speed. DLP offers a high print speed but lacks the same accuracy. HPS offers the combined advantages DLP and laser, bringing together the energy from the two light sources and creating a harmonized light engine that unifies wavelength, power, curing time and simultaneous operation. Advantages include high surface quality, accuracy, print speed, fine resolution and a scalable print area without loss of resolution or speed.

Kinetic Glass, Smart Glass Labs

Kinetic Glass, also known as switchable smart glass, is a form of glass invented by Smart Glass Labs (SGLabs) that allows on-demand opacity (privacy) and light control using minimal energy, making it desirable for use in a variety of applications, such as windows, doors, partitions and skylights. According to SGLabs, this novel product meets consumer demands for sustainability and the need for providing comfort and lively views to the end-user. At the same time, it helps mitigate some of the effects of climate change due to its ability to act as an IR barrier. UV photopolymerization is one of the core technologies of SGLab’s Kinetic Glass. The UV process is a key and necessary step to ensure the durability of the Kinetic Glass. By testing and adapting the use of various UV materials and UV processes, SGLabs can ensure superior aesthetics, seal protection and structural stability. The potential customers for the Kinetic Glass are mid-scale window and door manufacturers and early adaptors in the residential and commercial markets located in the United States.

Mogassam 3D, Special Emerging Market Award

With offices in Cairo, Egypt, Mogassam 3D is developing an “all-in-one” 3D printing platform which integrates the print, wash and cure steps into a single automated workstation for dental offices. Through the use of automatic processing and assistive AI design elements, Mogassam 3D has made 3D printing accessible to a larger audience of dental offices with limited DFAM (design for additive manufacturing) know-how. Furthermore, by automating the process, Mogassam’s hardware is able to help minimize user error and has enabled private dental offices to achieve higher rates of success and better financial returns. The initial target markets have been chair-side printing in North Africa and the Middle East, where great success already has been seen. In the coming years, the company is looking to expand the technology into the United States.

Eastern Michigan University, Special University Award

Prof. Vijay Mannari, director of the Coating Research Institute (CRI) of Eastern Michigan University, has established a rigorous research program with a substantial focus on developing sustainable polymeric materials and processes for advanced coatings. Dr. Mannari’s research group has developed sustainable bio-renewable derived UV oligomers, waterbased UV-curable polyurethane dispersions with high bio-renewable contents, and dual-cure systems using click chemistry, to name a few. His recent work on UV-initiated Organic-Inorganic Hybrid (OIH) coatings and thin films by sol-gel mechanism has been awarded US patent 11,414,524. Building on this invention, the Mannari research group now is developing prototype coating systems for exploring applications in automotive, aerospace, additive manufacturing (AM) and in the battery space. UV-curing technology offers immense opportunities for reducing the carbon footprint of many industrial coating operations. “Guided by the principles of green chemistry and engineering, our research group is combining strengths of bio-renewable materials, efficient crosslinking chemistries and novel processing techniques for developing a platform for sustainable materials that will advance UV-cure technology and enhance the sustainability of industrial products,” said Dr. Mannari.