EOS North America and its utilized engineering consultancy Additive Minds have launched the Digital Foam program, a brand new hub meant to simplify the method of bringing 3D printed foam merchandise to-market.
The hub is designed to assist clients in all levels of the manufacturing course of, consisting of CAD, supplies, half qualification, and 3D printing. Additionally it is geared up with engineering software program from New York-based nTopology to assist simplify design, evaluation, and preparation of the froth materials. Utilizing the Digital Foam program, clients can due to this fact fast-track the manufacturing of their foam 3D printed merchandise, which might embrace protecting headgear, individualized orthotics, efficiency footwear and extra.
“Digital Foam accelerates the adoption of 3D printing, enabling tunable architected supplies like foams,” feedback Bradley Rothenberg, CEO of nTopology. “This improves upon primary purposes making them distinctive — for instance helmets that aren’t solely safer, but additionally lighter-weight and extra snug.”
The Digital Foam program goals simplify the method of bringing 3D printed foam merchandise to-market. Picture by way of nTopology.
3D printing with foam
3D printing foam could be achieved with extremely versatile polymer supplies, like TPU or PEBA. The method permits customers to fine-tune every voxel, which might create numerous advantages over regular foam product manufacturing strategies, together with superior consolation, security, efficiency and customizability. Nonetheless, 3D printing with foam is troublesome because it requires complicated engineering and lengthy cycle occasions, which Digital Foam goals to nullify.
“The extent of engineering required to provide, say, a safer soccer helmet is very large, however the advantages are equally large for finish customers,” explains Dr. Greg Hayes, senior vice chairman of utilized engineering at EOS North America.
“The Digital Foam program was designed to make these big enhancements a lot simpler and fewer time-consuming for organizations.”
An electron micrograph of syntactic foam with fly-ash microspheres. Picture by Nikhil Gupta/NYU
Exterior of end-user merchandise although, a lot analysis has been performed round 3D printing with foam to discover its completely different purposes. For instance, Researchers from Rice College, Texas, developed a way for creating 3D printed graphene foams. Lawrence Livermore Nationwide Laboratory (LLNL) has additionally used foam to create a 3D printed kind becoming silicone, and the College of Twente has used the fabric to create 3D bioprinted in-air microfluidics. Most not too long ago, a workforce at NYU Tandon College of Engineering in New York developed a way of 3D printing syntactic foam utilizing commercially accessible FFF desktop 3D printers.
The Digital Foam program
EOS’ Digital Foam program is already being applied at Aetrex, an organization specializing in foot-scanning expertise, orthotics, and luxury footwear. After measuring clients’ ft utilizing its proprietary Albert scanning system, the agency then makes use of the hub to provide customized 3D printed orthotics with foam that meets the client’s calls for.
“What Aetrex is doing is an ideal instance of how Digital Foam could make 3D printed foam purposes mainstream within the digital-manufacturing period,” added Hayes. “Now we have created a classy however easy-to-use answer that connects dozens of dots within the worth chain, delivering higher merchandise to the market quicker than ever.”
A 3D printed HEXR helmet. Picture by way of HEXR.
Utilizing its Digital Foam platform, EOS and its companions are additionally planning to develop a soccer helmet to undergo America Makes’ NFL Helmet Problem. The competitors will award as much as $2 million in grants to producers to develop a prototype for a 3D printed NFL helmet that outperforms at present’s fashions.
Though EOS shall be submitting an entry that makes use of 3D printed foam materials, the corporate has additionally helped to develop the HEXR helmet, which replaces conventional foam lining with a 3D printed honeycomb construction.
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Featured picture exhibits the Digital Foam program
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