3D printed catalytically active devices in organic synthesis


*Corresponding author
Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica, Milano, Italy


Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a technique characterized by sequential deposition of different materials in a layer-by-layer approach for the construction of objects starting from a virtual design. The use of 3D printing technology in chemistry is becoming popular, but its potential has not been fully exploited yet. 

The objective of this survey is to describe the most important examples of catalytic functionalized 3D printed devices employed in synthetic transformations. For each example, the 3D printing technology used and significant results are highlighted.


3D printing technology has already changed the way we produce objects, from toys and clothes to mechanical components and even body parts. 3D printing is part of a process known as additive manufacturing, where an object is created by adding material layer-by-layer (1). 

Additive manufacturing allows to design and create complex part for machines, airplanes and cars at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional forging and molding approach. Today, small consumer-friendly 3D printers based on fusion deposition modelling(2,3) or stereolithography(4) are available at low price, reaching a wide audience for home and business applications. Although the diffusion of 3D printers has grown exponentially only in the last 5 years, this technology is far from new. In 1983, Charles Hull created a process called stereolithography, where a liquid resin is polymerized by mean of a laser light which is able to form a solid object based on 3D model (5).


Regardless of the type of 3D printing technology you want to use, all the 3D printing processes begin with creating a virtual design ...