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Glaunsinger Innovation Award recipient develops today's most thermally stable 3D printing polymer

Grad student to begin postdoc at Duke, launch startup company

Student posing with donor holding award

Cody Weyhrich (left) with award donor Bill Glaunsinger.

June 07, 2023

Cody Weyhrich, recipient of the 2023 Glaunsinger Innovation Award, came to Arizona State University from North Carolina to work with School of Molecular Sciences researcher Timothy Long.

In Long’s research group, Weyhrich developed a general industrial interest in improving the thermomechanical properties of 3D printable materials. He focused on developing new materials that rely on irradiation with ultraviolet light to initiate photopolymerization, which is then exposed to thermal treatment to facilitate polymer growth via polycondensation to create complex structures composed of aromatic polyimides. The result is a low-cost polymer that can be used to manufacture complex 3D polyimide shapes with conventional post-processing thermal treatment.

“Cody’s research resulted in the 3D printing of the most thermally stable polymer today, and these high-temperature polyimides will offer immediate impact for aerospace, electronics and transportation technology. He has pioneered the 3D printing of micron-scale resolution objects with a focus on lattices where dematerialization is a key tenet for sustainability. He has shown that we can achieve equal or superior performance of printed polyimides with 70% less material," Long said about Weyhrich's research.

“Cody has most recently devised on a printing process to prepare 3D carbonaceous objects from water, resulting in new directions for electronics, catalysis and membrane purifications. His research exemplified a molecules-to-manufacturing approach,” Long added.

Weyhrich credit’s Long’s passion, expertise and connections for contributing to his success.

“I was drawn to Professor Long's research group because of his indomitable academic drive, high expectations and industrial relationships that have been proven to produce highly successful and active researchers," Weyhrich said.

Active research on polymers with significant applications will continue to be part of Weyhrich’s future. He has accepted a postdoctoral scholar position at Duke University, which he will begin this summer. He will be working on a DARPA-funded research project to develop novel, fiber-reinforced polymer matrices for next-generation ballistic protection materials.

In addition, Weyhrich created a startup company, Precise Polymer, to elevate the performance and expand the usage of 3D printed materials in critical industries.

Weyhrich looks back on his ASU experience with gratitude.

“The recognition by the School of Molecular Sciences with the Glaunsinger Innovation Award was exciting because it was clear that others could understand the potential value and impact of this technology,” Weyhrich said.

“In addition, Dr. (William) Glaunsinger's attendance at the ceremony was appreciated, and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet him. I also appreciate Professor Tim Long for his care and oversight during my graduate career, as his guidance had a tremendous effect on my ability to expand my capabilities as a professional. I would also like to thank and recognize my friends and colleagues, Jose Sintas, James Brown, Ren Bean and all other members of the Long group for making graduate school meaningful.” 

“Cody offers all the traits of a future entrepreneur; he combines creativity and intellect with tenacity and resiliency," Long said. "I expect he will change the world.”