2017 iMatSci Innovators

This year, iMatSci will welcome 25 innovators who will be demonstrating their new materials-based technologies.  All technologies will be judged, and the top three will be awarded cash prizes based on the following criteria: clarity, presentation, value proposition, impact and scalability.

Submit Application
Deadline: September 1, 2017

While applications are still being taken, MRS is excited to announce that the first two iMatSci Innovator teams have been named:

iMatSci Innovator Demonstrations

Conductive 3D Printing Filament–Multi3D LLC

Electrifi Conductive Filament enables the rapid prototyping and manufacturing of radio frequency (RF) components with 3D printing and thereby reduces component cost, weight, and turnaround time. The global RF components market is expected to reach $17.54 billion by 2022, but fabrication techniques for commercial RF components have seen little innovation. Conventional RF manufacturing techniques, such as machining and photolithography, are accurate and reliable, but they are also expensive, time-consuming and produce unnecessary waste. 3D printing enables fast and accurate manufacturing of custom components, as well as the creation of extremely complex geometries at low-cost for improved component performance. 3D printing can also enable users to design components to fit the design space available, removing the necessity of designing technology around commercially available parts, a critical feature in space and weight-sensitive aerospace applications. By creating a highly conductive 3D printing material that is 100 times more conductive than the most conductive filament available in the market, this technology will make it possible to rapidly prototype and produce custom RF components, thereby accelerating research and improving the competitiveness of RF component manufacturing in the U.S.

Team: 
Shengrong Ye
Benjamin Wiley
Multi3D LLC
919-371-8422

Carbon Nanotube Tire Wear Sensor–Fetch Automotive Design Group LLC

Automobiles are becoming increasingly smarter, with significant attention being placed on sensors that ubiquitously monitor the cars environment and overall condition. However, one component that lacks data is the only part of the car that contacts the road, the tire. While most vehicles do allow for the measurement and communication of real time tire pressure data, it has never been possible to monitor tire tread wear in real time. This technology answers this problem by providing real time, non-invasive, material thickness measurements that allow for the mapping of tire tread from the inside of tire itself. The sensor relies on a simple mechanism, in which cross-capacitance between two metal electrodes is monitored. As the material thickness above the sensor is changed, the electrical response between the two electrodes modulates accordingly.

The simple design of the sensor (two mm scale conducting square electrodes) allows for a variety of manufacturing methods and materials. This sensor has been exhibited using metallic carbon nanotubes and a fully additive printing process that is extremely favorable for commercialization and could be incredibly valuable in the new smart-car space, but also has the potential to add significant value for current commercial vehicles, military vehicles and even race cars.

Team: 
Joseph Andrews
Aaron Franklin
Fetch Automotive Design Group LLC