3D Printing: From Imagination to Realization

LLNL Scientist(s)
Eric Duoss,
Julie Mancini,
Monica Moya,
Dominique Porcincula,
William Smith,
Chris Spadaccini,
Rebecca Walton
Stan Hitomi
Teacher's School
San Ramon Valley Unified School District


Revolutionary changes to materials and structures are now possible with 3D printing, bringing concepts that were previously only imagined into reality. In conventional manufacturing processes, such as machining, material is typically removed. Additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing, is a breakthrough technology which fabricates components by adding material layer by layer from the bottom up. This allows for the creation of highly complex and previously unrealizable structures which have radically improved performance and capability such as high strength and low weight. This presentation will discuss 3D printing technologies and design processes, creation of feedstock materials, and testing of the performance of the products. At LLNL, we work with existing AM technologies and materials, as well as invent our own, and push the boundaries of size scale, material composition, and geometric complexity. Additionally, we will touch on special applications for 3D printing, such as the ability to monitor how cancer cells spread using 3D printing technology paired with advanced computer modeling.



Dr. Eric Duoss received a Ph. D. in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Illinois and dual B. S. degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics from St. Norbert College in Wisconsin. He is an Engineer at LLNL where he conducts research in the areas of advanced materials, manufacturing and micro-architected design. Eric is responsible for developing novel additive manufacturing processes and feedstocks, with a particular focus on creating designer micro-architectures for mechanical, thermal, and functional properties for various applications.


Julie Mancini received a B. S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M. S. degree in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, both from UC Davis. Julie Mancini graduated from Livermore High in 2008 and went to Las Positas Community College for 3 years before transferring to UC Davis. She started as a summer intern at LLNL in 2012 and in 2014 was hired as a Staff Engineer in the Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing. Her research interests include additive manufacturing, metamaterials, and smart materials.


Monica Moya received a B.S. from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a Group Leader of Bioengineering and Advanced Fabrication in the Materials Engineering Division at LLNL. Currently, she works as the principal investigator on several bioengineering projects. Her research interests include 3D bioprinting, biomaterials, organ-on-a-chip and integrating engineering and biology. 


William Smith received a B. S. in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M. S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Davis. . He first joined LLNL as a summer intern in 2012. He was later hired as a Staff Scientist in the Materials Engineering Division in 2014. His work has been broadly focused on advanced manufacturing processes, with a current emphasis on gaining a better understanding of and improving metal additive manufacturing.


Christopher Spadaccini received B. S., M. S., and Ph. D. degrees from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1997, 1999, and 2004 respectively. He is currently the Materials Engineering Division Leader in the Engineering Directorate at LLNL. He has been working in advanced additive manufacturing process development and architected materials for over 14 years and has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and over 50 patents awarded or pending. He has been a member of the LLNL technical staff for 18 years and is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Chemical Engineering Department at the UC Davis.


Dom Porcincula received a B. S. in Engineering, M. S. in Industrial Engineering, and M. S. in Polymers and Coatings Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He is a Staff Materials Engineer in the Materials Engineering Division at LLNL. His research revolves around the intersections of additive manufacturing and novel materials development, and includes investigations into how various materials, such as glass, liquid crystal elastomers, and radiation-detecting materials, can be made using 3D-printing technology.


Rebecca Walton received a B. S. and Ph. D. in Materials Science from Penn State University studying ceramics and how to 3D print them. Since starting at LLNL, they have been working on different methods to 3D print glass for optical applications. Becca is a Staff Scientist in the Materials Engineering Division at LLNL. 


Stan Hitomi received a B. S. in Biology from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Athletic Administration from St. Mary's college. He retired in 2020 after 31 years as a teacher, principal, and district administrator for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. He is a Carnegie Scholar, served on the Community Advisory Panel for Station KQED, co-chair for the Teaching and California’s Future Task Force, and founding chair for the California Teacher Advisory Council. Stan has been at LLNL for over 25 years as an intern, faculty scholar, and former Director of the Edward Teller Education Center.