Patents Overview

DASH has an extensive portfolio of 3D printing patents

Combining multiple materials and complex geometries to tune physical properties of resultant models, patents cover mechanical, electrical, optical and thermal for integrating special features into 3D printed materials. One example is to design accurate tissue properties of simulant training and simulation models for surgical practice, device performance testing validation, and surgical modeling.

Another application is the integration of sensing members into composite models to give output feedback as to the internal stress/strain relationship and to sense tactile presence or internal temperature.

Additional patented property includes theoretical predictive modeling to reduce the shape and size of a model to reduce print time and then to deform the model to the intended size and shape post processed.

Method for the design and manufacture of composites having tunable physical properties

The core of our IP portfolio encompasses varying geometry and materials to fabricate composites that replicate the complex physical behaviors observed in nature. Our method leverages the precision and resolution of the most advanced multi-material 3D printers to create heterogeneous, anisotropic structures that replicate the mechanical, optical, thermal, and electrical properties of a target material. Inspired by the composite nature of biological materials, our patents produce models that recreate the non-linear mechanics of human tissues. The DASH method is not limited to mechanical properties nor biological materials and can be implemented in numerous diverse applications.

Methods of using vector fields and texture maps as inputs to design and manufacture composite objects with tunable properties

Vector fields and texture maps are used to describe the physical properties of composites, sometimes by representing the underlying substructure of the materials. This patent covers the use of these same mechanisms to propagate composite structures designed to replicate the physical behavior of the target material. Advanced optical methods capture fiber alignment in composites undergoing deformation. Two- and three-dimensional vector fields are then derived from these experiments to characterize stiffness distribution along the composite. Images as texture maps and vector fields can then be used to propagate tunable composites designs to match the distribution of a target physical property along a replicate object. The DASH method is not limited to mechanical properties, as texture maps and vector fields are commonly used to describe the distribution of optical, electrical, and thermal properties, among other physical characteristics.

Deformation-based additive manufacturing optimization

Build orientation determines support requirements and build time, both of which affect fabrication costs significantly. To balance support and build time, most 3D printing slicers optimize the orientation of the part to minimize build time. Knowing the mechanical properties of the input part or assembly, our method deforms the input models to reduce both support material requirements and build time. In combination with our tunable composites patents, this method can design composites that enable the part to deform beyond the original characteristics of the input and reduce fabrication costs significantly.