The first online 3D printing service provider in Germany, trinckle 3D, got its start in 2013, and soon after, really ingratiated itself with users by offering a free error detection service. After receiving €700,000 in a round of financing, the company got busy building up its core customization software, the paramate platform, which allows for customer-specific adaptations of many products, from personalized jewelry to transparent optics, thanks to its powerful algorithms. trinckle 3D recently announced a 3D printing service partnership with Conrad Electronics, and today, it’s introducing a new partnership, with Kuhn-Stoff GmbH & Co. KG, a leading manufacturing service provider for customer-specific laser sintering products.
The two have created a software application, which improves cost efficiency and cuts down on design times by automating the design process of custom robotic grippers. These grippers are a manufacturing must-have, and trinckle 3D’s software is changing up how these custom robotics are created, using additive manufacturing.
Florian Reichle, trinckle 3D CEO, told 3DPrint.com, “Our collaboration with Kuhn-Stoff is an extremely meaningful one. Not only did we create a very necessary application, but it also demonstrated just how relevant customization is for industries of all kinds. Customization is about more than color and putting your name on something, it’s about generating meaningful added-value for clients.”
Additive manufacturing has been used for quite some time to produce robotic gripping systems, but it is a process; it’s not as simple as just pushing “Print.” Manufacturers tend to put in many hours of design work, and often need to have a decent knowledge of CAD, to generate custom designs before production gets started. That’s why Kuhn-Stoff and trinckle 3D decided to team up to create the automated robotic gripper design application, so they could save manufacturers a lot of design pain.
trinckle 3D’s development team had to walk a tightrope, allowing for enough flexibility to individually place the grip points, while balancing the necessary strength with lightweight construction. The successful gripper application is a great demonstration of what trinckle 3D’s paramate can “make possible for industrial manufacturing.”
“paramate is the ideal solution for the technical and design challenges posed by custom robotic grippers,” said Reichle. “Our software’s intelligent algorithms enable manufacturers to benefit even further from AM.”
From development and design optimization, to precise production and in-house refinement, Kuhn-Stoff is experienced in the entire AM process chain. Kuhn-Stoff’s CEO, Hannes Kuhn, was already familiar with using AM to produce robotic grippers, and predicts that trinckle 3D’s configurator will reduce the average design time of a custom gripper from eight hours down to just minutes, saving on overall design costs and taking away barriers from the existing production process to make it more accessible.
Kuhn said, “The web-based configurator will grant clients without significant CAD-knowledge access to the design of robotic grippers. This is particularly relevant, when, in the construction of such systems, changes have to be made quickly.”
If more businesses like Kuhn-Stoff start to realize what can be gained by combining additive manufacturing with customizable software applications like paramate, the rewards are great: new business models can be introduced, and existing processes can become more efficient. If engineers and manufacturers don’t have to be CAD experts, the entire design process can be significantly smoother.
“I think many businesses have begun to understand how important additive manufacturing will be for them: But, once they get into 3D printing they notice that one of the biggest barriers is not the 3D printing itself, but rather the design creation process,” Reichle told 3DPrint.com. “A good process is necessary to truly leverage the advantages of 3D printing and build superior products and services. At trinckle, our goal is to remove this barrier with our design customization and automation software, and make sure that businesses can realize their innovative ideas. We’re here to change how businesses engage with AM, and to provide them with the right software application.”
One AM hardware manufacturer we’re quite familiar with is definitely looking forward to testing out this new software: EOS e-Manufacturing Solutions, which has been one of Kuhn-Stoff’s production partners for a long time, and realizes what kind of positive impact is possible with trinckle 3D’s gripper configurator.
“With our AM systems, clients can produce robotic grippers that are lightweight, durable, and outperform those made by conventional means,” said Christian Waizenegger, Business Development Manager Industry, EOS. “But, many of our clients struggle with the manual design workload for customer-specific components. The gripper configurator is the missing piece that brings everything together, and can serve as inspiration for countless other industrial applications.”
Discuss in the Robotic Grippers forum at 3DPB.com.