Daniel Webber received a PhD in physics in 2017 from Dalhousie University. After graduating, Dan wanted to experience working for industry. He spent a few years at a Canadian start-up company called Avalon Holographics, where he and a team developed the world's largest glasses-free 3D display.
One of Dan's career goals had always been to work at the NRC. He knew it was a place he could carry out applied research to further scientific progress. At the same time, he saw it as a way to add value to Canada's technology sector through the development of products and intellectual property.
When Dan found out about a postdoctoral fellowship project that combined his academic and industrial experience in optics with his newly discovered interest in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, he applied immediately. Then, in September 2021, he joined the NRC's Digital Technologies (DT) Research Centre.
"Working at the NRC makes it possible for both recent graduates and experienced professionals to work alongside experts in a broad range of fields and access the NRC's extensive array of equipment to conduct world-class research. The NRC's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is exactly the environment that allows me to thrive."
Dan currently works on a team with a diverse set of skills that allows them to carry out research in the new field of tomographic volumetric additive manufacturing, a newer type of 3D printing. The team is made up of researchers from the Computer Vision and Graphics group at the DT Research Centre and researchers from the Additive Manufacturing group at the Security and Disruptive Technologies (SDT) Research Centre. The DT group brings extensive experience in several fields of optics as well as programming and software development to the table, while the SDT group uses its expertise in photopolymer chemistry to develop the novel materials for 3D printing.
The team has been working with the University of California to print 3D objects in a micro-gravity environment using tomographic printing. The university received funding from NASA to perform their experiments aboard a Zero-G aircraft. In late 2022, Dan flew down to the Kennedy Space Center to assist with experiments at the Space Life Sciences Lab, owned by Space Florida.
More recently, the team partnered with Neurescence, a Canadian start-up based in Toronto that creates devices for neuronic biomedical imaging and sensing. Dan and the team are working to develop printed micro-optical components for Neurescence's devices that will decrease cost while increasing performance.
Once Dan completes his postdoctoral fellowship, he hopes to help push forward the development of tomographic 3D printing and make Canada a world leader in this new type of additive manufacturing. This vital technology will improve domestic manufacturing capabilities, which will directly tackle the ongoing problem of supply chain disruption and allow both Canadian and international companies to create new products that can be made only with volumetric 3D printing.
Find out more about the NRC's Postdoctoral Fellowship program and Digital Technologies Research Centre.