Patents by Inventor Robert Swartz

Robert Swartz has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10384437
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for the automated manufacturing of three-dimensional (3D) composite-based objects is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a material feeder, a printer, a powder system, a transfer system, and optionally a fuser. The method comprises inserting a stack of substrate sheets into a material feeder, transferring a sheet of the stack from the material feeder to a printer, depositing fluid on the single sheet while the sheet rests on a printer platen, transferring the sheet from the printer to a powder system, depositing powder onto the single sheet such that the powder adheres to the areas of the sheet onto which the printer has deposited fluid, removing any powder that did not adhere to the sheet, optionally melting the powder on the substrate, and repeating the steps for as many additional sheets as required for making a specified 3D object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Eugene Gore, Buckley Crist, John Bayldon, Chris Wagner, Nicholas Tarzian, Evangeline Su
  • Patent number: 10377106
    Abstract: A 3D object according to the invention involves substrate layers infiltrated by a hardened material. The 3D object may be fabricated by a method comprising the following steps: Flatten a substrate layer. Position powder on all or part of a substrate layer. Repeat this step for the remaining substrate layers. Stack the substrate layers. Transform the powder into a substance that flows and subsequently hardens into the hardened material. The hardened material solidifies in a spatial pattern that infiltrates positive regions in the substrate layers and does not infiltrate negative regions in the substrate layers. In a preferred embodiment, the substrate is carbon fiber and excess substrate is removed by abrasion. Flattening a substrate layer involves reducing planar inconsistencies or imperfections, and comprises applying heat to each substrate layer, cooling the substrate layers, and optionally applying tension and/or pressure to the heated and cooled substrate layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Buckley Crist, Eugene Gore, Joseph M. Jacobson
  • Patent number: 10377080
    Abstract: A 3D object according to the invention comprises substrate layers infiltrated by a hardened material. The 3D object is fabricated by a method comprising the following steps: Position powder on all or part of a substrate layer. Repeat this step for the remaining substrate layers. Stack the substrate layers. Transform the powder into a substance that flows and subsequently hardens into the hardened material. The hardened material solidifies in a spatial pattern that infiltrates positive regions in the substrate layers and does not infiltrate negative regions in the substrate layers. In a preferred embodiment, the substrate is carbon fiber and excess substrate is removed by abrasion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Buckley Crist, Eugene Gore, Joseph M. Jacobson
  • Patent number: 10350877
    Abstract: A 3D object (the “New Object”) is fabricated layer by layer by 3D printing. The shape and relative dimensions of the various parts of the New Object match that of another 3D object (the “Target Object”). In addition, the exterior of the New Object appears to be a photographic likeness of the Target Object. The “photographic” likeness is created by variations in visual characteristics of materials in the layers comprising the New Object, and in particular by variations at or near the surface of the New Object. Thus, the photographic likeness is an integral part of these layers comprising the New Object. An object is scanned, from which a texture map is obtained. A CAD model is sliced into slices (bit maps files) which are then colored by a program with the boundary to match the color or gray scale to color the appropriate pixels, derived from the texture map.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Stephen Ness, Eugene Gore, Buckley Crist
  • Patent number: 10343243
    Abstract: Cement or other liquid-like material fills the hollow tubes of a machine tool under construction. The machine tool structures are held rigidly against a fixture while the substance dries. The machine tool so constructed is relatively lightweight and rigid, and obviates the need for precision machining of large portions of the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Inventor: Robert Swartz
  • Publication number: 20190202164
    Abstract: An additive manufacturing method and apparatus is described for the printing of three-dimensional (3D) objects. The approach is based on a composite-based additive manufacturing process, except it uses commercial printing methods to achieve even higher speed and throughput. By using the invention, a prototyping and/or production process may be completed in hours rather than months, and the risks and problems of molds is eliminated. There is substantial improvement in the number and type of geometries that can be produced compared to injection molding, and the range of materials is enlarged as are the material properties. The method involves printing a substrate having at least one sheet using a printing technology, and stacking or folding the at least one sheet to form multiple layers consistent with that formed by a 3D model. The printing step is done using a printing technology such as flexography, lithography, offset, gravure, waterless printing, and silkscreen.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2019
    Publication date: July 4, 2019
    Applicant: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Swartz
  • Publication number: 20190134890
    Abstract: A stacker component of an apparatus for automated manufacturing of three-dimensional composite-based objects for aligning registration of sheets. The stacker includes a sheet catcher; a frame having a base plate with the base plate having tapered registration pins to align a stack of substrate sheets. The registration pins are mounted in the base plate and project vertically to a location just below the sheet catcher. The stacker also has a presser with a press plate and a belt driver system that moves the press plate up and down allowing the press plate to exert downward pressure on the stack and a slide system with two guide rails that enable the base plate to be loaded and unloaded. A conveyor can be disposed so that after a substrate sheet exits a powder or printing system, the sheet is conveyed onto the sheet catcher.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2018
    Publication date: May 9, 2019
    Applicant: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Eugene Gore, Len Wanger, Chris Wagner, Brian Conti
  • Patent number: 10252487
    Abstract: An additive manufacturing method and apparatus is described for the printing of three-dimensional (3D) objects. The approach is based on a composite-based additive manufacturing process, except it uses commercial printing methods to achieve even higher speed and throughput. By using the invention, a prototyping and/or production process may be completed in hours rather than months, and the risks and problems of molds is eliminated. There is substantial improvement in the number and type of geometries that can be produced compared to injection molding, and the range of materials is enlarged as are the material properties. The method involves printing a substrate having at least one sheet using a printing technology, and stacking or folding the at least one sheet to form multiple layers consistent with that formed by a 3D model. The printing step is done using a printing technology such as flexography, lithography, offset, gravure, waterless printing, and silkscreen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: Impossible Objects Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Swartz
  • Publication number: 20190084046
    Abstract: A method, product, apparatus, and article of manufacture for the application of the Composite Based Additive Manufacturing (CBAM) method to produce objects in metal, and in metal fiber hybrids or composites. The approach has many advantages, including the ability to produce more complex geometries than conventional methods such as milling and casting, improved material properties, higher production rates and the elimination of complex fixturing, complex tool paths and tool changes and, for casting, the need for patterns and tools. The approach works by slicing a 3D model, selectively printing a fluid onto a sheet of substrate material for each layer based on the model, flooding onto the substrate a powdered metal to which the fluid adheres in printed areas, clamping and aligning a stack of coated sheets, heating the stacked sheets to melt the powdered metal and fuse the layers of substrate, and removing excess powder and unfused substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2018
    Publication date: March 21, 2019
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, John Bayldon, Buckley Crist, Eugene Gore
  • Patent number: 10221401
    Abstract: Compositions and methods are provided for an O2 tolerant Fe—Fe hydrogenase. The hydrogenases of the invention comprise specific amino acid substitutions relative to the native, or wild-type enzymes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
    Inventors: James Robert Swartz, Jamin Koo
  • Publication number: 20180345648
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for the automated manufacturing of three-dimensional (3D) composite-based objects is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a material feeder, a printer, a powder system, a transfer system, and optionally a fuser. The method comprises inserting a stack of substrate sheets into a material feeder, transferring a sheet of the stack from the material feeder to a printer, depositing fluid on the single sheet while the sheet rests on a printer platen, transferring the sheet from the printer to a powder system, depositing powder onto the single sheet such that the powder adheres to the areas of the sheet onto which the printer has deposited fluid, removing any powder that did not adhere to the sheet, optionally melting the powder on the substrate, and repeating the steps for as many additional sheets as required for making a specified 3D object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 9, 2018
    Publication date: December 6, 2018
    Applicant: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Eugene Gore, Buckley Crist, John Bayldon, Chris Wagner, Nicholas Tarzian, Evangeline Su
  • Publication number: 20180264732
    Abstract: A method and powder system component of an apparatus for use in a printing process is disclosed, and for removing and recycling excess powder. The powder system results in a cutoff point of 3 microns rather than 50 microns of previous systems. The apparatus comprises a powder applicator, a powder remover, a helical cyclone, a powder collector, and two valves that alternately open and close. The two-valve system prevents air backflow. The powder is processed through the two-valve system. The method comprises: valve 1 is closed and powder accumulates; valve2 is closed also; after valve 1 opens, powder goes through (there is no air backflow), then valve 1 closes; then valve 2 opens and allows powder onto a powder applicator; then valve 2 closes; then the cycle starts again.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2018
    Publication date: September 20, 2018
    Applicant: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Eugene Gore
  • Publication number: 20180264725
    Abstract: A printer platen component of an apparatus for automated manufacturing of three-dimensional composite-based objects for printing onto substrate sheets. The platen solves two problems: 1) holding the sheet down without allowing it to move while printing; and 2) getting rid of excess printing fluid. The platen comprises a plate with a number of air channel openings used for suction to hold the sheet in place, a bed of wire used to suspend the sheet and to keep the sheet straight, a depressed reservoir where printing fluid accumulates, a number of punching holes, a number of screws which serve as release sites for the sheet and cooperate with tips of a gripper to transfer the sheet to the platen, and a rough surface to additionally help hold down the sheet and keep it from moving. The platen is connected to an air plenum resting underneath the main plate to provide the suction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2018
    Publication date: September 20, 2018
    Applicant: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Eugene Gore
  • Publication number: 20180255919
    Abstract: A height adjustable device can comprise: a base; a first scissor linkage assembly coupled to the base and having a first scissor joint; a second scissor linkage assembly coupled to the base and having a second scissor joint; a worksurface coupled to the first and second scissor linkages; a bracket movably coupled to the first scissor linkage and the second scissor linkage and movable relative to the worksurface; and a first energy storage member coupled to the worksurface and connected by at least one tension member to the bracket, wherein the first energy storage member is configured to bias the bracket in a horizontal direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2016
    Publication date: September 13, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Robert Swartz, Shaun Christopher Lindblad, Jeffrey Randall Mensing
  • Patent number: 10046552
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for the automated manufacturing of three-dimensional (3D) composite-based objects is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a material feeder, a printer, a powder system, a transfer system, and optionally a fuser. The method comprises inserting a stack of substrate sheets into a material feeder, transferring a sheet of the stack from the material feeder to a printer, depositing fluid on the single sheet while the sheet rests on a printer platen, transferring the sheet from the printer to a powder system, depositing powder onto the single sheet such that the powder adheres to the areas of the sheet onto which the printer has deposited fluid, removing any powder that did not adhere to the sheet, optionally melting the powder on the substrate, and repeating the steps for as many additional sheets as required for making a specified 3D object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: Impossible Objects, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Eugene Gore, Buckley Crist, John Bayldon, Chris Wagner, Nicholas Tarzian, Evangeline Su
  • Publication number: 20180168334
    Abstract: A height adjustable device including a counterbalance mechanism configured to be affixed adjacent to a rear portion of a vertical support member, a worksurface configured to be affixed adjacent to a front portion of the vertical support member, and a mounting member configured to slidably couple the worksurface to the counterbalance mechanism; wherein a portion of the mounting member extends through an opening defined in the vertical support member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2016
    Publication date: June 21, 2018
    Inventors: Nicholas Robert Swartz, Shaun Christopher Lindblad, David J. Prince, Michael John Mullen, James Robert Lucas, Mustafa A. Ergun, Robert William Fluhrer
  • Publication number: 20180141305
    Abstract: A 3D object according to the invention comprises substrate layers infiltrated by a hardened material. The 3D object is fabricated by a method comprising the following steps: Position powder on all or part of a substrate layer. Repeat this step for the remaining substrate layers. Stack the substrate layers. Transform the powder into a substance that flows and subsequently hardens into the hardened material. The hardened material solidifies in a spatial pattern that infiltrates positive regions in the substrate layers and does not infiltrate negative regions in the substrate layers. In a preferred embodiment, the substrate is carbon fiber and excess substrate is removed by abrasion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 25, 2015
    Publication date: May 24, 2018
    Applicant: IMPOSSIBLE OBJECTS LLC
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Buckley Crist, Eugene Gore, Joseph M. Jacobson
  • Publication number: 20180126666
    Abstract: A 3D object according to the invention comprises substrate layers infiltrated by a hardened material. The 3D object is fabricated by a method comprising the following steps: Position powder on all or part of a substrate layer. Repeat this step for the remaining substrate layers. Stack the substrate layers. Transform the powder into a substance that flows and subsequently hardens into the hardened material. The hardened material solidifies in a spatial pattern that infiltrates positive regions in the substrate layers and does not infiltrate negative regions in the substrate layers. In a preferred embodiment, the substrate is carbon fiber and excess substrate is removed by abrasion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 25, 2015
    Publication date: May 10, 2018
    Applicant: IMPOSSIBLE OBJECTS LLC
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Buckley Crist, Eugene Gore, Joseph M. Jacobson
  • Publication number: 20180072001
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for resistive heating usable in composite-based additive manufacturing is disclosed. The method includes providing a prepared stack of substrate sheets, placing the stack between electrode assemblies of a compression device, applying a current to thereby heat the stack to a final temperature to liquefy applied powder, compressing the stack to a final height, cooling the stack, and removing the cooled, compressed stack from the compression device. The apparatus comprises at least two plates, a power supply for providing current, a first electrode assembly and a second electrode assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2017
    Publication date: March 15, 2018
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, John Bayldon, Buckley Crist, Eugene Gore
  • Publication number: 20180050490
    Abstract: A 3D object according to the invention comprises substrate layers infiltrated by a hardened material. The 3D object is fabricated by a method comprising the following steps: Position powder on all or part of a substrate layer. Repeat this step for the remaining substrate layers. Stack the substrate layers. Transform the powder into a substance that flows and subsequently hardens into the hardened material. The hardened material solidifies in a spatial pattern that infiltrates positive regions in the substrate layers and does not infiltrate negative regions in the substrate layers. In a preferred embodiment, the substrate is carbon fiber and excess substrate is removed by abrasion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2017
    Publication date: February 22, 2018
    Inventors: Robert Swartz, Buckley Crist, Eugene Gore, Joseph M. Jacobson