UW News

May 8, 2015

May 19 lecture: How ‘The Terminator’ could change 3-D manufacturing

The T1000 robot from "The Terminator" movies grows from a pool of metallic liquid.

The T1000 robot from “The Terminator” movies grows from a pool of metallic liquid.Marcin Wichary, Flickr

The metallic shapeshifting villain from “The Terminator” movies has inspired innovations in 3-D printing to be featured in UW Bioengineering’s annual Robert F. Rushmer Lecture on Tuesday, May 19, 4:30 p.m.

Joseph M. DeSimone, a prolific inventor, serial entrepreneur, renowned scholar and CEO will discuss “Breakthroughs in Imprint Lithography and 3-D Additive Fabrication” that could pave the wave for efficient and scalable 3-D manufacturing. The lecture in the William H. Foege South Auditorium (Room S060) is free and open to the public.

The do-it-yourself (DIY) and “makers” movement exploits new tools for fabrication, encourages invention and enables rapid prototyping. Those tools combined with an innovation mindset are spawning a research renaissance that will influence many fields, including tissue engineering.

DeSimone developed a technique that harnesses the properties of light and oxygen to rapidly “grow” a 3-D part or object from a pool of resin. The team was inspired by the T-1000 assassin that emerges fully formed from a puddle of metallic liquid in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” The process is up to 100 times faster than existing 3-D technologies that painstakingly “print” an object layer by layer and can introduce structural weaknesses.

DeSimone is a polymer chemist who has co-founded multiple companies and made breakthrough contributions in fluoropolymer synthesis, colloid science, nanobiomaterials, green chemistry and 3-D printing. He is one of fewer than 20 individuals to be elected to three branches of the National Academies: the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

He is currently on leave from academic posts as the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and of Chemistry at UNC. DeSimone has assumed the CEO role at Carbon 3D in Silicon Valley.

This is the 27th year of the annual Rushmer Lecture, which recognizes UW Bioengineering’s founder Robert F. Rushmer and is the department’s largest lecture event of the year. A reception will follow the presentation from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the north first floor lobby of Foege. The public is welcome at both events.

For more information contact Shirley Nollette 206-685-2002 or nolletts@uw.edu.