Some important 3D printing updates, including micro- and nanoscale printing.
First, the ExOne IPO had an early surge according to press reports. ExOne is located in North Huntingdon, PA.
Second, the antitrust litigation involving 3D Systems had a major development recently. Apart from the legal analysis, the judge’s opinion (28 pages) has some interesting reading about the markets and technology for 3D printing. By noting this development, we confirm, of course, no implication on the merits or lack thereof for the litigation, for any of the parties, by noting this update for readers.
Finally, Nanoscribe GmbH continues to market its micro- and nanoscale manufacturing process using laser lithography. Nanoscribe is a “spinout” from the KIT organization. I enjoyed looking at their video.
Aerogel patenting is holding steady. For example, since 2004, 78-110 US patent publications consistently emerge each year which cite “aerogel” in the claims or abstract. 2011 is holding steady with a projected number at 94. Aerogels are a unique nanomaterial, known for their lightweight and insulation properties. Some of their history can be found on the web. Important markets can be found in the cleantech space. Surprisingly, only 29 of all of the aerogel patent publications were deemed to fall within the 977 nanotech classification.
Aspen Aerogel recently filed for an IPO. In addition, Cabot continues to sell aerogel materials.
If A123Systems receipt of a $249 million Department of Energy grant and later success as the largest IPO of 2009 was any indicator, battery start-ups in 2010 are likely to lead the wave of cleantech success. For example, hybrid cars are taking on an increasing portion of the automotive market and in turn, the development of efficient lithium-ion batteries is a continuing hot topic in the research world.
As earth2tech recently highlighted in, 20 Battery Startups Hitting the Road With Lithium-ion, many battery start-up companies are currently focused on lithium-ion and some will likely succeed.
Nanotechnology, albeit small in size, is driving big impacts on advanced materials and cleantech.