Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[0:33] MM: "polySpectra is an advanced materials company on a mission to transform polymer 3D printing from a prototyping aid into a production manufacturing tool."
[27:50] RW: "What we realized was that what was impossible to do with the existing supply chain in 3D printing was extremely easy to do for me with this new olefin chemistry. And that is print materials that have super high working temperatures, super high toughness, super high chemical resistance. They're biocompatible, they're safe to use and our parts aren't going to warp or deform if you leave them in a hot car. [...] The play has been, we're going to take that new mechanism and turn it into a resin that drops into off the shelf printers. And we now have partnerships with, like the top three printer companies in our category."
[29:23] RW: "We're doing a lot of lightweighting components for automotive and aerospace. We're working on a proposal with the Advanced Manufacturing Office and DOE to do light weighting for vehicles. [...] If you could reduce the weight of a car by 10%, you can reduce the fuel usage by about 8%. So 30% of US energy is in transportation fuels moving stuff and people around. [...] If some of our parts can make the functionally equivalent thing for a 10th of the weight [or] a 20th of the weight, [...] that starts to add up. We do a lot of electronics and connectors. We're working on a number of medical devices where we're partnering with global Fortune 100 companies to take some of those through FDA."
[30:55] RW: "The massless mission is really to leverage distributed digital manufacturing to reduce global energy usage by 25% by 2050. And this comes out of a paper [...] from 2018 in the journal Energy Policy. [...] So the [first] core tenet of massless [is] [...] if you don't need to make something, don't do it. We've built some AR tools to help people have a massless preview of their product in augmented reality. The second one is less mass. So that's where lightweighting comes in. [...] Then three is less waste. So that's doing additive versus subtractive. So we're just making what we want in the exact shape that we want it. And ideally, only in the exact amount that the customer has ordered."
[33:07] RW: "The final piece of the massless movement is to make it ideally as close to the end use as possible. [...] It would be a huge start just to do [manufacturing] on the same continent that the end user is on. That would be easily 10% of our global energy usage, if you could just localize it to the continent. [...] I still can get whatever I want as fast as I want, but there's no warehouse full of crap that's gonna get thrown in the landfill if it doesn't get bought. Instead, that's a virtual warehouse."
[37:25] RW: "People want the choice and they want the abundance. And I think the beauty of true distributed digital manufacturing is that they don't have to give up the abundance. And in fact, they can choose something that's even more unique to them and even more accustomed to them and be even more abundant."