Electrically conductive polymers for additive manufacturing: current research at PoliTo

presentation by Valentina Bertana, Post-Doc researcher, Politecnico di Torino, at ONLINE 3D Printing Electronics Conference (21 January 2021, 14:00 – 18:00 CET). REGISTER HERE to attend the conference

The field of additive manufacturing, which in the last years has gained a lot of interest both from the commercial and the academic world, needs now a boost from the materials side. If materials with special properties as biocompatibility, high mechanical resistance or temperature resistance are already present on the market, materials with special functionalities are still waiting for first release. Especially as regards materials with electrically conductive properties, which would represent a breakthrough for 3D printed electronics. In this perspective, our research group at the department of Applied Science and Technology at Politecnico di Torino is studying novel materials to allow the additive manufacturing of electrical and electronic components. Among different tests, the photocurable resin based on PEDOT:PSS seems to be the most promising one. Some application examples will be also reported.

program: https://www.3dprintingelectronicsconference.com/program/

Interview

What drives you?

The interest for additive manufacturing and the engineering of materials and processes.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?

If the delegate is interested in 3D printing research from an academic point of view, he/she should attend the presentation to realize that his/her interests are actually under investigation and maybe in the future will find place in common applications.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?

For sure, as regards 3D printed electronics, I see in the next future a growing trend in the research field of electrical connections between printed parts and standard components.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?]

If an effective connection strategy will be discovered, probably all of us will shortly have a customized 3D printed electronic device to use in everyday life.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?

Unfortunately, I think costs play the major role. Such functionalized materials are often expensive or their integration in the fabrication process requires a too high economic demand.

Valentina Bertana received her BSc and MSc Degree in Biomedical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino in 2013 and 2015 respectively. In February 2020 she received her PhD degree in the same institute in Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering. Her research activities are mainly focused on additive manufacturing, smart materials, printable electronics and microfluidics.

The Politecnico di Torino was founded in 1859 as Scuola di Applicazione per gli Ingegneri (Technical School for Engineers), and it became Regio Politecnico di Torino in 1906. A long history, which bore out the University as a reference point for education and research in Italy and in Europe, a Research University of international level which attracts students from more than 100 countries and which activates about 800 collaborations per year with industries, public institutions and local organizations. The Department of APPLIED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (DISAT) focuses on research and education involving the fundamental principles of matter and energy, their transformation and related engineering applications.

The 3D Printing Electronics Conference is a platform and information interface enabling an exchange of informations on market requirements, research interests and current results, skills and resources as well as facilitating the building of future partnerships. Academics, engineers, designers, and managers are invited to lecture on their state-of-the-art developments and future prospects or display their products and offers as exhibitor. The conference focuses on various aspects involving (3D) printed electronics such as: combining functional elements such as electronics (sensors or switches) into a (3D) printed product hybrid / printed circuit boards, processes that integrate electronics onto or within 3D printed parts, 3D Printed Optics / Photonics, Challenges for manufacturers / engineers / researchers and Future prospects.