The latest edition of the RP Patent Alert Newsletter is now available on our
web site. Ten RP patents were issued during the last month. While this is
off the recent pace, interesting and unique new technologies were disclosed.
Here are a few highlights of patents issued from 1/16/01 to 2/20/01:
* The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (UK) has received
a patent for a rapid prototyping method that uses the sol-gel process. The
method is said to be capable of the direct formation of dense ceramic objects
at low temperatures and without the use of binders. No supports are required
and parts can be easily extracted after fabrication. Many types of ceramics
* Nanotek Instruments has patented a modified Selected Area Laser Deposition
(SALD) process that permits the use of multiple materials and even changes in
material during the fabrication of a single layer. Support is accomplished
using a secondary process such as inkjets and the work appears to be aimed
mainly MEMS and other small part applications.
* Vantico has been granted a patent for a method of preventing the settling
of fillers in photopolymers. The incorporation of organic bases stabilizes
viscosity and optical properties thereby increasing resin life.
* It's possible to make stereolithography object layers thinner than the
minimum recoating depth of a photopolymer according to a patent assigned to
3D Systems. The technique depends on partially curing alternate layers and
manipulating exposure levels as a function of neighboring layers'
* Several patents were granted in the medical area, including additional work
from MIT in vascularized tissue regeneration matrices, the formation of
skin-like surfaces for prosthetic devices and selective laser sintering of
* A photopolymer based method that uses a wide area fiber optic head and an
array of blue LED's for exposure has been patented by NTT Data and the
Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, both of Japan.
There were several additional developments in tooling, fabrication of
electronic circuits, etc. If you're involved with the development of RP
technology in industry or academia, you should find this an easy and fun way
to keep up to date.
The frequency of publication of the RP Patent Alert Newsletter on The
Worldwide Guide to Rapid Prototyping web site has been increased from
quarterly to approximately monthly. We hope this change will let you keep up
to date in a much more timely way and also be quicker and easier to absorb.
Our main patent database includes more than 700 rapid prototyping patents.
>From our home page,
The Worldwide Guide to Rapid Prototyping located at:
click the PATENTS button or use the direct link on that page.
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