Additive Manufacturing Strategies

YSU Research Foundation Partners with Israeli Tech Startup to Combine AI and 3D Printing Technology


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[Image: YBI via Facebook]

Last winter, a delegation from Youngstown, Ohio traveled to Israel with the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation. Members of the delegation included Youngstown native Barak Rabinowitz, who manages the venture capital fund that runs The Junction business accelerator; CEO of the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) Barb Ewing; President of Youngstown State University Jim Tressel; and Brett Conner, YSU’s Director of Advanced Manufacturing and Workforce Initiatives and Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

The delegation visited several Israeli universities to discuss potential 3D printing-related business and research ventures. Now, in a continuing effort to make 3D printing technology more simple and accessible, non-profit Youngstown State University Research Foundation (YSURF) has signed a partnership agreement with Israeli tech startup PrintSYSt, one of the companies identified on the trip to Israel.

Tressel said, “YSURF and the Youngstown Business Incubator look forward to bringing PrintSYSt’s state-of-the-art technology platform to Youngstown. This partnership is yet another result of our continuing efforts to create strong ties to Israel and to build relationships that benefit our students, our faculty and the entire Mahoning Valley community.”

The startup patented a one-button artificial intelligence application designed to help 3D print objects more quickly and easily, with more available designs. The system helps users determine if an item is 3D printable, and if so, how much it would cost to print.

Ewing told The Vindicator about Yona’s innovative PrintSYSt technology, “He has solved a true problem.”

PrintSYSt’s Beta 0.1 version of the application was released this summer, and the company is working with commercial and academic 3D printing service providers in Asia, Australia, Europe, and now the US.

Itamar Yona, CEO and Founder of PrintSYSt, said, “3-D printing is diverse, long and complex, and those challenges result in low productivity, high frustration by users and low adoption rates.

“Using artificial intelligence and machine-learning patented technologies, PrintSYSt developed a one-button, 3D printing solution to enable intuitive user experience that bridges the gap between users and the complex 3D printing process.”

Thanks to the new partnership, the beta version of PrintSYSt software has been embedded and is now available on YBI’s website. A chatbot helps potential customers through the process, asking questions like if the item will need post-processing and where it will be placed. The software saves 3D printer owners precious time and effort, and also learns to understand different design parameters, helping users make better products based on previous learning.

Exploring educational and business opportunities in Israel, January 2017 (L-R): YSU alum Dan Carnevale, Brett Conner, Barb Ewing, Jim and Ellen Tressel, and Bonnie Deutsch Burdman, Youngstown Area Jewish Federation. [Image: YSU]

“As the software works with more and more customers. This is the perfect intersection between software and additive manufacturing, which are our two core competencies,” Ewing told The Business Journal.”At its most fundamental level, it allows a potential customer who wants to get something printed to walk through a series of questions to see if the product they want printed can be printed, roughly in what materials, what dimensions, what the cost will be. It saves them time. It allows them to figure out on their own whether that’s something that’s doable and if it is what they need in order to do it.”

According to YSURF President and YSU Associate Vice President for Research Mike Hripko, PrintSYSt will be used to support 3D printing equipment at both YBI and YSU, which is only the second US university that represents all seven major methods of 3D printing technology. However, Ewing said that anyone will be able to use YSU’s software for 3D printing projects, and if possible, objects will be printed at the university’s Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing and shipped to customers.

“Obviously we want students to take advantage of it,” said Ewing. “It’s a YSU asset and our first thought is to help get them into the game and understand what can be printed at what cost and how to go through that process.

“Beyond that, this is something that we hope will build our ecosystem. We want companies that currently are just [thinking] about how they can use additive to get in here and start to explore and see what can be done.”

Barb Ewing and Jim Tressel are joined via video call by PrintSYSt’s Eitan Yona, Eldar Elaev and Itamar Yona. [Image: The Business Journal]

Scott Deutsch, the Communications Manager for Youngstown-based America Makes, is pleased with its affiliate YBI’s addition of the PrintSYSt software.

Deutsch said, “America Makes and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining are pleased to support this effort and specifically this investment in the North Eastern Ohio Additive Manufacturing Cluster.

“This exciting innovation — integrating automated software with the potential of additive manufacturing — brings new possibilities to the additive community. Accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing is at the core of what America Makes is all about. Innovation such as this increases the awareness and understanding of the amazing possibilities of this technology to the end user and the manufacturing supply chain.”

This agreement between YSU and PrintSYSt is only the latest to come out of the Israel trip. In addition to the previously mentioned Israel-YBI Collaborative with The Junction, the university entered into an agreement with Western Galilee College last year, and a group of YSU nursing majors and criminal justice students will travel to Israel next month to visit medical centers and prisons.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

[Sources: YSU, The Vindicator, The Business Journal]


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