World's First Self-Assembled Molecular 3D Printing Demonstrated by HBKU

World's First Self-Assembled Molecular 3D Printing Demonstrated by HBKU

28 Feb 2023

Groundbreaking 3D printing method has potential to unlock new possibilities in material discovery through its ability to imbue materials with self-healing properties.

Dr. Hicham Hamoudi, Founder of QEERI’s Disruptive Technology research program

Dr. Hicham Hamoudi, Founder of the Disruptive Technology research program, and his research team at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) have successfully demonstrated the world's first Self-Assembled Molecular 3D printing approach. 

This pioneering approach seamlessly integrates the concept of molecular self-assembly (the spontaneous organization of organic molecules) with additive manufacturing technology to produce a new class of hybrid metal/organic materials with unique properties. This achievement paves the way for the development of new devices and systems with advanced and augmented functions, such as a new generation of electronics, sensors, and solar cells.

Being at the forefront of this field of research, HBKU aims at furthering the development of this technology for the international marketplace. Recently, HBKU entered into a research collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to jointly develop a full-scale system that utilizes this Self-Assembled Molecular 3D printing approach in real-world applications.

“Molecular Self-Assembly in 3D printing is a novel and disruptive approach that could define new frontiers. We are excited to collaborate with MIT to accelerate the development of this technology and collaborate toward building a full-scale system that can be used for practical applications,” said Dr. Rachid Zaffou, Senior Planning and Research Director, Office of HBKU’s Vice President for Research (OVPR).

This research was borne out of HBKU’s Thematic Research Grant Program, which is organized by OVPR. The innovative 3D printing method successfully passed its proof-of-concept stage, securing various patents in the process. It has also been recognized by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) as the first in the world demonstration of Self-Assembly molecular 3D printing.