DSM & Twikit Collaborate: Designing 3D Printing Solutions for Healthcare, Automotive, Apparel

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With offices based around the globe, Royal DSM is behind many innovative projects today meant to make a difference in fostering sustainability—as well as a 3D printing ecosystem wherever possible. In a new collaboration with Belgian 3D software and application development company, Twikit, the partnership is centered around promoting additive manufacturing processes and seeing them used in many different industries.

Together, DSM and Twikit will begin designing 3D printing solutions for applications in the fields of medicine, automotive, and apparel, and are already engaged in plans for ‘end-to-end production workflow’ for both orthotics and prosthetics—areas which have already shown great potential for making patients lives better with customized, affordable devices that can be easily replaced.

Complementing strengths, DSM will offer their experience in materials and market reach, while Twikit’s software and applications development will propel new AM processes for other companies forward.

The overall goal is to promote and integrate customized, turnkey solutions to a wide range of industries already involved in or looking forward to becoming part of the 3D printing value chain, especially in auto, health, and footwear. In any of these applications, the two companies agree that the initial processes include:

  • 3D scans
  • Product design
  • Material optimization
  • Testing
  • Modeling

The morphing algorithm created by Twikit will then allow other industry users to create client-specific products, embracing all the benefits of 3D printing from speed in production to fast turnaround, affordability, customization, and improved design and performance. They foresee refining basic components, producing personalized dashboards, new car seats, light covers, and more. With 3D printing, parts are much lighter in weight as necessary, and highly customized. Prototypes and parts can be made on demand, and in low volume.

For healthcare, this collaboration should encourage more use of digital fabrication—leading to further transformation within that field, which is already beginning to embrace 3D printing and additive manufacturing, along with many different research labs around the world busy modifying equipment to their own innovative needs.

Both DSM and Twikit expect that the healthcare industry will see better accuracy in scanning applications with 3D technology, along with being able to work faster and at less expense to everyone involved. Regarding footwear, insoles are beginning to garner increased attention via 3D printing due to the ability to customize footwear and offer better support, performance, and customer comfort. In some cases, 3D printed, customized soles and shoe components may even help avoid injury.

“Our partnership with Twikit allows us to make significant advances in key sectors that stand to benefit from the wider-scale adoption of additive manufacturing. In healthcare, for example, 3D printed, made-to-measure prosthetics and orthotics will positively impact people’s lives across the globe,” said Hugo da Silva, VP Additive Manufacturing DSM.

“Reinforcing our 3D printing ecosystem with experienced partners like Twikit enables us to offer customers not just materials, but also expertise and insights to translate market needs into total 3D printed solutions. By providing end-to-end solutions, we are able to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing at scale.”

Patients can look forward to better care and faster methods of treatment, along with added comfort—and even more rapid healing. With the TwikFit software system, customers will also be able to use product templates in the future. Collaborative developments and applications will be unveiled and discussed further with the public at Formnext 2019 in Frankfurt, from November 19-22.

“Prosthetics and orthotics are an excellent example of the digital transformation and the enhanced customizability enabled by 3D printing. Our work in other sectors, such as the apparel and automotive industries, has already demonstrated that additive manufacturing can generate high value for OEMs through individualization,” said Martijn Joris, CEO & co-founder of Twikit. “By the partnership, we will accelerate growth and innovation across the 3D printing value chain.”

The ability to design and fabricate via 3D printing brings forth talent and innovation from around the world; however, collaborations often make new projects exponentially more powerful. DSM continues to promote sustainability and the 3D printing ecosystem, as well as partnering to develop  new materials, manufacture car parts, and offer acceleration programs to up-and-comers.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: DSM press release]

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