Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) Minneapolis brings together top innovators with expertise in 3D printing, plastics manufacturing, robotics, and biocompatible materials. We caught up with Dave Neville, President at Infinity Robotics get his thoughts on the future of AM and 3D printing in robotics. Check out his talks on Nov 3rd here.
In this special “hot tech” section, we amplify global leaders actively shaping the future of technology. Do you, or does your company have some hot tech to share? Reach out to us.
Q&A With Dave Neville, President of Infinity Robotics
Q1: Speed isn’t associated with 3D printing in manufacturing. Does automation change that?
Dave Neville: Speed is the number one impediment to 3D parts. Automation can simplify and increase speed/efficiency. People tend to not recognize cycle times and parts linger as a result. Automation can allow for secondary processes, material removal, quenching, and placing into the next print, depending on complexity of the parts. Think: machine tending for your printer!
Q2: Do robotics and 3D printing enable a new generation of products tailored to specific buying personas?
Dave Neville: Aircraft manufacturers would benefit from reducing delivery of parts from weeks to days. Curing and material removal, and machining parts in an automated system, will help. Continued material science will allow more robust curing, cutting down the time. Robotics will handle the transfer to the curing station.
Q3: What remaining components do manufacturers need to achieve a faster AM go-to-market strategy?
Dave Neville: I think once the efficiencies are increased through automation, the next step is continued improvement of the printed material and how fast we can cure them into usable parts. We are working with robots to tend the printer, place parts into a machining center, remove those parts, and present to an additional secondary op prior to presenting the parts to a QA inspection process.
The remaining components in this system are possibly integrating Ultra Violet curing during the printing process and finding material that reacts more vigorously in a heat and UV dual process. Integrated X-ray QA will improve confidence in the strength of the material and hold a better record of manufacture to prevent frivolous lawsuits when things fail.