Canadian AM startup part of 10 chosen for Stanley Black and Decker accelerator “Techstars”
Devin JonesAdditive Manufacturing Additive Manufacturing Startup
NanoQuan is primarily focusing on the soft materials space with rubber-like and other flexible material suited for wearable technology.
Canadian additive manufacturing company, NanoQuan, has partnered with Stanley Black and Decker in a effort to continue research and production on their patented nano technology that aims to reshape the way we think about 3D printing.
In focusing on a “multi-physics’ dispersion-mixing technology” NanoQuan is actively working on introducing enhanced electrical conductivity, tensile strength, thermal conductivity into what are traditionally static 3D printed objects.
“We’re making next generation functional plastics by leveraging nano technology,” said NanoQuan CEO Ryan Gerakopulos.”The way we’re doing that is through proprietary technology for mixing nano materials into plastic, which that allows us to modify the properties of plastics beyond its current capabilities.”
The partnership with Stanley Black and Decker is part of an ongoing initiative for the tool and storage company to work with start-ups on their recently announced additive manufacturing accelerator, aka Techstars Class 131. NanoQuan is amongst the first 10 start-ups selected will and given $20,000 in funding in exchange for 6% of the company’s common stock. Additionally NanoQuan will have access to a range of 3D printing resources available at the Stanley Black & Decker’s advanced manufacturing centre in Connecticut
In terms of practical applications, NanoQuan is primarily focusing on the soft materials space: your rubber-like and other flexible material. Gerakopulos notes specifically the field of wearable technology; different sensors embedded in performance wear for athletes are a prime example. Then there’s your next-generation gaming console, the rise in popularity of virtual reality and what NanoQuan points to as haptic technology.
“Think about the ability [in VR] to modulate motion in your hand and have that correlate to some function in a gaming system. Our materials are dealing with a more intuitive function on that side of things,” Gerakopulos said.
By using nano technology in a pre and post AM printing processes, NanoQuan is able to change the physical makeup of an object at the molecular level. In the past, one of the inherent problems facing nano materials throughout the AM process was its inherent tendency to clump within the original host mixture. According to Gerakopulos this clumping has “blocked the uptake of nano-fillers’ beneficial properties and performance.” NanoQuan is solving that problem through their use of what they call a Carbon Nanotube Dispersion Solution.
“They see that additive manufacturing is going to be a big part of the future of manufacturing and they want to be apart of that,” Gerakopulos said. They think if they’re not paying attention and mindful of new developments, it’s going to be really disruptive to the industry.”