At some point, they want to save lives. Manuel Schaffner and Petar Stefanov from ETH-Spinoff Spectroplast have developed a 3D printing process that allows skin-friendly silicone to be printed.
3D printing has two important advantages over the conventional injection molding process: On the one hand, it allows the high-precision production of complex shapes in the first place. Thanks to the new process, researchers at ETH Zurich were recently able to produce artificial heart valves from silicone. On the other hand, production becomes simpler and cheaper because no casting moulds are required: just press a button. This paves the way for individualized mass production.
The vision of the two Pioneer Fellows is to bring industrial silicone 3D printing to the mass market and earn money not only with print jobs, but also with the sale of printers and materials.
More on Spectroplast on their website.