3D Printing News Briefs, February 9, 2023: Micro AM, Ankle Implants, & More


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In 3D Printing News Briefs, Accumold continues its investment in micro additive manufacturing, and AIM3D has a new research partner in FGK. Ai Build introduced Talk to AISync, an NLP for additive manufacturing. Finally, restor3D announced its first surgery using the Kinos Axiom Total Ankle System.

Accumold Further Invests in Micro Additive Manufacturing

Micro molding leader Accumold has made another investment in its micro additive manufacturing capability with the purchase of an additional Fabrica 2.0 printer from Nano Dimension. The company has actually been a beta customer of the system since early 2021, and after seeing how it helped meet customer needs, purchased the printer, and an additional Fabrica system, for further 3D micro printing purposes. Many of Accumold’s clients like micro AM, because it enables them to efficiently and cost-effectively fulfill design intent for low to medium-volume production runs in ways that traditional manufacturing does not allow, in addition to fabricating complicated interior details, holes, atypical shapes, and hollow structures.

“In general terms, success through the use of the Fabrica 2.0 is measured in microns and hours. Micron-level detail can be achieved without the need to fabricate tools, and this means that you can have intricate and geometrically complex prototypes in a matter of hours. There is a limit to the ability to create complicated parts using traditional micro tooling. With increased complexity comes increased cost, but not when using the Fabrica 2.0 micro AM technology,” stated Aaron Johnson, VP Marketing and Customer Strategy at Accumold. “The absence of the requirement for a physical tool lifts the lid for design engineers to think out of the box and attain design goals previously unimaginable. This design freedom coupled with the inherent manufacturing agility that is a core characteristic of AM require a root and branch re-assessment of all aspects of the product development process, a disruption that is a spur to the stimulation of future product successes and enhanced market-share and profitability. Through the use of the Fabrica 2.0, you can also optimize workflow, the technology producing less scrap and fewer tools than conventional manufacturing processes. It also promotes the reduction of iterative process, assembly, and inventory. This means that significant operational cost benefits are now attainable at the micro manufacturing level for our customers.”

FGK & AIM3D Partner for CEM 3D Printing Research

The FGK (Forschungsinstitut für Glas/Keramik) at the Koblenz University of Applied Science has been using a 3D CEM ExAM 255 multimaterial system from AIM3D for research. 3D printing is becoming ever more important for ceramics and glass, and is a complementary technology to mold-based casting processes and milling. But AIM3D’s technology allows for more material combinations than standard manufacturing solutions, and also saves on time and money when evaluating ceramic test specimens. The CEM process also uses conventional granulates or powders, which are more cost-efficient than filament, and can print a combination of materials in one component to reproduce specific properties in that component. AIM3D recently announced that FGK is its new research partner, and that together they will work with its CEM 3D printing, focusing on further developing the performance of ceramics. This cooperation allows FGK to be self-sufficient through the use of 3D printing.

“The real charm of this CEM process from AIM3D is its flexibility,” explained FGK project engineer Murat Demirtas. “The ExAM 255 multi-material printer allows combinations of ceramic/ceramic, ceramic/polymers or ceramic/metal. Hybrid components massively expand the component properties, enabling a functional design.”

Ai Build Introduces Additive Manufacturing NLP AiSync

AiBuild’s Talk to AiSync NLP for Additive Manufacturing/Source: Ai Build

SaaS company Ai Build develops AI-based software for additive manufacturing, and has introduced Talk to AiSync, which is a Natural Language Processing (NLP) system for AM. NLP is an AI branch that studies interactions between human languages and computers, by processing and analyzing natural language text and speech using techniques like deep learning, machine learning, and linguistics. Talk to AiSync will translate user input into commands, which are actions that the software can use to deliver expected results without having to go deeper into the software and change parameters. For example, a prompt could be about slicing a file at a specific layer height for the first five layers. It’s definitely not a replacement for human engineers and designers, but it’s a new sort of natural language that should elevate the user’s experience, and more broadly, lower barriers to mainstream AM adoption. Currently in its beta testing stage with selected partners, the model will be released to the public once testing and validation are complete.

“We are working with the industry leaders to establish the boundaries (if any) of this breakthrough development in additive manufacturing workflow automation,” said Daghan Cam, the Co-Founder and CEO of Ai Build. “The underlying technology is the combination of Ai Build’s visual toolpath programming engine and OpenAI’s large language model GPT, fed with years of real-world manufacturing data from our AiLab in London.”

restor3D Announces First Surgery with Kinos Axiom Total Ankle System

restor3d ankle product

Finally, 3D printed medical device company restor3D has announced the first successful implantation of its Kinos Axiom Total Ankle System, featuring TIDAL technology designed for osseointegration. The company says that the proprietary bone-implant interface of the 3D printed tibial and talar implants, when combined with the biomechanics of the system, will maximize cortical bone contact and enable longevity and functionality of the ankle prosthesis. In addition, restor3D launched a mobilie companion app for its recently released r3id Personalized Surgery Platform, which allows surgeons to create and track cases and collaborate with the restor3D Design Engineering Team during surgical planning.

“The release of the Kinos Axiom Total Ankle System with TIDAL Technology is predicated on years of scientific research and engineering development. We are proud to deliver a data-driven implant system with market-disrupting innovation to address the clinical needs for patients receiving ankle arthroplasty,” said Cambre Kelly, PhD, restor3d’s Chief Technology Officer.

“Additionally, the launch of r3id for mobile is a significant advancement of restor3d’s vision to deliver an enhanced surgical planning solution.”

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