Insights from RadTech and PAMA on Photopolymer Week 2023.

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Photopolymer Week 2023 is gearing up to be the ultimate event for industry leaders and individuals seeking insight into the field. The agenda for Photopolymer Week 2023 is described as “extensive” by Mickey Fortune, Associate Executive Director at RadTech, The Association for UV & EB Technology. He highlights that this event is a unique opportunity for engagement with leading researchers and professionals in the photopolymerization field, offering value to academics, students, scientists, and industry professionals alike. Participants will have the opportunity to stay informed on the latest research and innovations, actively contribute to discussions about the future of photopolymerization, and network with their peers.

Photopolymer Week 2023 consists of two industry events over the course of one week: the 2023 Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing Alliance (PAMA) Workshop and Photopolymerization Fundamentals 2023. The presentation topics will cover a wide range of subjects, including photoresponsive hydrogel materials and their applications, new approaches to photopolymerization reactions, advancements in 3D printing of hydrogels, photopolymers with tailored properties via λ-orthogonal photochemistry, and innovations in sustainability and performance of photopolymer raw materials, among others. In addition to the presentations, there will be a poster session, a vendor exhibit, and ample time for audience discussion and Q&A.

Photopolymer Week will take place at the University of Colorado in Boulder from September 18th to 22nd. The event kicks off with the Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing Alliance (PAMA) Workshop on September 18th and 19th, followed by Photopolymerization Fundamentals from September 19th to the 22nd.

David Walker, Executive Chairperson of the Photopolymer Additive Manufacturing Alliance (PAMA) and the CTO and Co-founder of PrintFoam, acknowledges the technical nature of the sector. He emphasizes the importance of a solid understanding of chemistry, optics, hardware, and software, as well as the lack of standardization in measurement, which hinders fair comparisons between materials and equipment. Standardization is considered a critical driver for the broader adoption of 3D printing, and this recognition is shared by RadTech America and the Department of Commerce. These organizations, along with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), work towards consistency in units and metrics to promote the evolution of photopolymerization technology in the US supply chain. Events like Photopolymer Week are part of their mission to bring decision-makers together.

During Photopolymer Week, NIST will moderate and participate in open-dialogue panels on various topics, including composites, ceramics, multi-materials, and enabling next-generation photopolymers. Representatives from Formlabs, Nagase, and the University of Utah will tackle the question of whether photopolymer Additive Manufacturing can align with a safe, sustainable, circular economy. The event will also feature cutting-edge research from scientists and representatives of institutions like Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Army Research Laboratory, and the Department of Energy.

Technologically, David Walker highlights the development and application of high-viscosity resin printers as a breakthrough in the 3D printing realm. Previously, materials used in photopolymerization were considered inferior and brittle. However, Carbon, a 3D printing company, changed this perception by showcasing the potential of dual-cure photopolymer materials, establishing photopolymerization as a powerful manufacturing technique. Walker believes that new printer hardware, which enables the use of higher-viscosity photopolymers, will drive further improvement in photopolymer materials, applications, and market growth. He asserts that photopolymers, once considered underperformers in 3D printing, are now surpassing other techniques in terms of cost-effectiveness and versatility. Their ability to be formulated without limitations makes them increasingly attractive for ambitious applications.

PAMA plays a crucial role in organizing Photopolymer Week as part of its commitment to advancing knowledge and standardization in the 3D printing sector. The event has a strong academic connection, offering a variety of educational short courses to deepen participants’ understanding of the chemistry of photopolymer.

Considering all these factors, Mickey Fortune from RadTech stresses that the two events that make up Photopolymer Week 2023 are thoughtfully designed to facilitate candid conversations and discussions on the current state and future directions of the field. Attending Photopolymer Week 2023 is a valuable opportunity for anyone interested in photopolymerization to expand their knowledge and contribute to the advancement of the industry.

Photopolymer Week is just around the corner, bringing together experts and enthusiasts alike to explore the fascinating world of photopolymerization. With a plethora of presentations, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to delve into technical aspects, sustainability, and applications in various sectors. Whether you’re a layperson or a newcomer to this field, Photopolymer Week offers a chance to learn and connect with experts who can shed light on the future of this technology.

For industry insider Walker, this event holds special significance. It is an attempt to recreate the awe-inspiring conference that first ignited his passion for additive manufacturing. As a newcomer to the field, he vividly remembers sitting in the back of the auditorium, eagerly absorbing the intense scientific debates and multiple perspectives shared on stage. It was an exhilarating experience that Walker describes as “a lot of fun.”

However, Walker’s excitement doesn’t blind him to the importance of critical thinking. With his experience in organizations like RadTech and PAMA, he emphasizes the need to discern genuine game-changers from mere incremental improvements. This rapidly evolving industry is filled with companies claiming to have groundbreaking technologies, but it is essential to question their level of creativity and consider any potential limitations that may come with these innovations. Honesty, clarity, and frankness are crucial in navigating this landscape.

Walker’s enthusiasm for the future of photopolymers in additive manufacturing is palpable. He praises their versatility and cost-effectiveness, eager to witness how they will continue to push boundaries and spur innovation. Events like Photopolymer Week play a crucial role in promoting understanding and progress in this field, while critical analysis of new technologies ensures the industry’s sustained growth.

In parting, Walker reminds us of the immense potential that lies in the study and application of photopolymers. He shares, “I have a soft spot for polymers, I reckon.” This sentiment reflects his unwavering belief in the power and possibilities of this revolutionary technology.

If you’re interested in learning more or attending Photopolymer Week 2023, be sure to check out the full agenda and register for the event. Additionally, to stay updated on the latest 3D printing news and developments, don’t forget to subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, follow them on Twitter or like their page on Facebook. For more engaging content, consider subscribing to their YouTube channel featuring discussions, debriefs, video shorts, and webinar replays.

And if you’re looking for job opportunities in the additive manufacturing industry, browse through the selection of roles available on 3D Printing Jobs.

The future of 3D printing holds immense promise, and as we enter the next decade, engineering challenges in the additive manufacturing sector will undoubtedly arise. Stay informed and be part of the conversation shaping the future of this transformative technology.

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