Uniformity Labs is a startup that is translating Princeton innovations into widespread use. The 15-person company, located in Fremont, California, manufactures metal, ceramic and plastic powders for use in 3-D printing (also referred to as “additive manufacturing”). This method of manufacturing is increasingly being used to provide strong and lightweight parts in consumer electronics, automobiles, power generation and aerospace applications.
These new starting materials make it possible to print faster with less shrinkage of the product compared to competitors. This is possible because Uniformity Labs’ powders are significantly denser than competitors’ materials. There is less space between powder particles, but they still flow and otherwise behave like powders. This density allows more than 200 percent increases in printer throughput in powder bed fusion printers, and up to a 70 percent reduction in part shrinkage in binder jetting printers.
“Using our materials, manufacturers can address a huge market segment that is otherwise not accessible,” said CEO Adam Hopkins, who earned a doctorate in chemistry and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Princeton in 2012 and 2005, respectively. Hopkins and Salvatore Torquato, the Lewis Bernard Professor of Natural Sciences, co-invented the powders based on research performed while Hopkins was a graduate student.