Rhode Island Patent of the Month – June 2024

Guill Tool & Engineering Co., Inc. has been granted a patent for their innovative printer capable of producing multi-material meltable 3D printer filaments. This innovative technique allows for the creation of complex, customized filaments that integrate multiple materials seamlessly in a single printing process.

Traditionally, 3D printing has been limited by the capabilities of single-material filaments. Guill Tool’s method addresses this challenge by enabling the fabrication of filaments that incorporate distinct sections of different solid meltable materials. These materials, aligned either in-line or perpendicular to the filament’s length, are precisely stacked and welded together. What sets this method apart is its ability to seamlessly transition between these materials within the filament, thanks to complementary shapes at the junctions of each section.

Imagine a filament where one section consists of a durable, rigid material seamlessly transitioning to a flexible, elastic material in the next section—all within the same continuous filament. This capability opens up a myriad of possibilities for 3D printing applications across industries. From producing prototypes with varying mechanical properties to crafting intricate designs with integrated electronics, the versatility of multi-material filaments is unmatched.

The process involves meticulous coextrusion and welding of sections, ensuring precise control over the filament’s composition and properties. By stacking multiple sections of different materials in a controlled manner, Guill Tool achieves filaments that can vary in thickness from 1 to 5 mm, offering further customization depending on the desired application.

This invention not only enhances the performance and functionality of 3D printed objects but also pushes the boundaries of what is possible in additive manufacturing. It caters to industries seeking advanced materials for specialized applications, including aerospace, healthcare, and consumer products.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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