David Wirth


Graduate Student

Bio: Current PhD student at UCSD focused on the nano-scale engineering of materials. Before beginning my doctoral studies, I served as a commissioned officer at the Air Force Research Lab, founded the venture-backed startup Fabric8Labs, and over the past 10 years undertook ambitious research and development projects in a variety of subject fields. My personal and professional projects have been featured by the Discovery Channel, Popular Mechanics, and Popular Science. In 2016 I was personally invited to the White House to discuss my work on room temperature metal 3D printing. In 2018 I was listed on Forbes’ 30 under 30 in the area of manufacturing.

Abstract Title: HEMAfoam: A Novel Foaming Resin Expands Applications for Lithographic 3D Printing

Abstract Body: An ordinary commercial MSLA printer can be harnessed to create a large scale foam manufacturing platform using our novel highly expandable foaming resin. This unique formulation allows for isotropic expansion of printed parts up to 40x (by volume), digital control over density, porosity and cell morphology. Our process represents nearly 2 orders of magnitude improvement over the prior art, and can be accomplished using a low-cost system (under $300) with a simple, commercially available chemical formulation. Our process allows for the fabrication of structures significantly larger than the build volume of the 3D printer which produced them. Complex geometries such as Voronoi structures, functional airfoils, and floatation aids composed of porous foams are presented with videos of their fabrication and testing. The potential applications for our system include architecture, aerospace, energy, and biomedicine. Screening and characterization of resin formulations, print parameters, observed mechanical properties, and resultant foam structure of the printed and expanded foam objects is presented as well.</i>