In the second episode of @AuManufacturing Conversations With Brent Balinski, Brent speaks to Henry Bilinsky (no relation), the founder and CEO of MicroTau.
Henry founded his company in 2016 after proposing an approach he calls “Nature’s 3D printer” in response to a US Air Force challenge to reduce fuel use for transport aircraft.
Out of nearly 300 entries, his idea to improve fuel efficiency — which creates a surface like shark’s skin for the outside of a plane — made the final ten. Then it was one of only three from those awarded proof of concept funding.
MicroTau has been quietly refining its technology since through developmental grants from the US Air Force and others, and last month completed a seed fund round of $5.6 million led by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Henry tells us about the science behind making a surface rougher with “riblets” to go faster, progress so far, how their new spin on photopolymer 3D printing can borrow from bugs and animals, the path to certification, and more.
Image credit MicroTau
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