Hardik Hingorani is currently enrolled in UCLA’s masters program in Materials Science and Engineering where he is focusing on the chemistry of 3D printing. He grew up in Nagpur, central India before moving to Goa to study for a dual B.E. in chemical engineering and M.Sc. in chemistry at BITS Pilani University. When he’s not in the laboratory, Hingorani likes to experiment with food, especially different kinds of Indian cuisine. “It’s all about getting the chemistry of your blend of spices right,” he says.
HP: Can you tell us about your summer project at HP Labs?
I’m working on metal 3D printing, which is a new experience for me. HP’s Metal Jet 3D printers are already in limited release production, but we want to try and improve the process. I’m looking at the first step in that process, where we layer steel powder onto the print bed. We want to see if a different chemical mix of this powder can help reduce the cost of printing, produce higher quality parts, minimize the environmental impact of the powder, and make the left over material easier to recycle.
HP: How are you going about that work?
Essentially, I’m creating new chemical blends and then running them through sophisticated characterization and imaging instruments to understand their properties. I’m first looking for formulations that give us the highest possible density and that are as stable and durable as possible. But we also want these formulations to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. As a materials scientist, I’d usually want the freedom to choose my own materials, but I really like the fact that we have this goal of using only biodegradable and biocompatible materials – it’s a great challenge.