Friday, September 30, 2022
Home3D PrintingAdditive manufacturing? It is value it: L'Oreal and Ultimaker on Solvay's AM...

Additive manufacturing? It is value it: L’Oreal and Ultimaker on Solvay’s AM Cup profitable design

In 2018, I hopped on a aircraft to Atlanta, Georgia to decide a pupil competitors that may see college groups put ahead distinctive options for 3D printing in one of many trade’s most difficult supplies: PEEK. Based and hosted by chemical and supplies specialist Solvay, the annual Additive Manufacturing Cup is designed to indicate how open-source innovation can result in new additive manufacturing (AM) options; and from these coffee-coloured tensile bars and Solvay logos I noticed again on the Solvay places of work over 4 years in the past (that’s one powerful ‘S’ to 3D print), the competitors has developed into one thing which takes that innovation and applies it to real-world manufacturing eventualities.

For the 2021 version, that included teaming up with cosmetics big L’Oreal however in fact, being 2021, it additionally meant much less hopping on planes and extra conferences over Zoom as I met the winners over a video name together with collaborators Solvay, L’Oreal and Ultimaker.

Immediately, my every day routine of making use of L’Oreal face cleanser and True Match basis that morning, had discovered a pleasant new layer of which means.

For the competitors’s third version, 60 worldwide groups had been tasked with placing ahead a real-word industrial software that might rework manufacturing line agility utilizing Solvay’s Solef PVDF AM filament, a extremely non-reactive thermoplastic fluoropolymer that’s inherently flame retardant. It’s not probably the most glamorous of purposes for an organization that specialises in magnificence merchandise however the advantages of 3D printing for purposes alongside manufacturing strains can’t be understated.

Usually the unsung 3D printing heroes of the manufacturing flooring, Ultimaker’s polymer extrusion-based know-how, for instance, has been put to work at main manufacturers like Volkswagen and Heineken, the place the latter was in a position to scale back manufacturing prices of a producing instrument by 70% in comparison with conventional strategies. Along with printing the designs straight on one among its Ultimaker S5 desktop printers, the competitors leveraged Ultimaker’s famend supplies ecosystem and optimised Solvay materials profiles to create the profitable components.

“The actual benefit of getting an open platform is the power to usher in the experience, the true talent units and the benefits of others within the ecosystem onto the platform to ship that tailor-made resolution for our customers,” Miguel Calvo, CTO at Ultimaker mentioned of the corporate’s function within the competitors. “Put merely, it is leveraging the experience across the ecosystem, bringing them into the platform in order that we are able to ship a larger, wider unfold of purposes to our customers. This problem completely highlights that.”

3D Fab from the College of Lyon, France took dwelling first prize with a flexible monobloc design that could possibly be used on a packaging line to carry unstable merchandise in place. The design is predicated on a reversible deformable puck that may be printed shortly and simply and utilized to a variety of completely different product varieties: suppose mascara tubes or tall shampoo bottles that are transported round a manufacturing line at excessive pace.

“They’ve invented an answer that principally can work for all of the bottles and never just for the 5 that L’Oreal assigned as a benchmark so you do not have to reprocess once more in case you’ve gotten a special sort of bottle,” mentioned Andrea Gasperini, Enterprise Improvement Supervisor at Ultimaker, of the profitable design. However there are different benefits too, together with noise cancellation: “There’s a whole lot of noise as a result of we have now 400 pucks shifting round and touching one another on a regular basis however right here, the bottle was actually agency. The bottle isn’t allowed to maneuver in any respect as a result of each motion exterior of the pack would suggest a spill or a defected product that must be eliminated in some way earlier than it will get packed.”

Matthew Forrester, Head of Materials Transformation & Recycling Science at L’Oréal, an engineer by commerce, is aware of first-hand what is anticipated from this type of software having grown up engaged on a majority of these engineering challenges. At present, these challenges embrace concerns across the environmental impression at each stage of the provide chain from the filling crops to the fingers of shoppers who need their merchandise faster than ever earlier than.

“They need them yesterday,” Forrester mentioned. “As quickly as you click on on the Amazon button, you need the half to be at your door, which clearly signifies that we have to have the commercial instruments that are able to replying as shortly as this. So with the ability to shortly change between merchandise, with the ability to ramp up manufacturing, decelerate manufacturing, transfer manufacturing between international locations produced regionally to scale back transportation, these are the sorts of challenges that engineers are having, and that is precisely what we needed to share with the contributors by opening up a window into our industrial processes.”

The winners have spoken about their pleasure round growing a real-world resolution that could possibly be deployed on a manufacturing line like L’Oréal’s. As a part of a prize, which additionally included 5 thousand Euros to be reinvested in educational, societal or entrepreneurial actions and an Ultimaker 2+ Join printer, the workforce had been taken on a guided tour of a L’Oreal mass market manufacturing web site and luxurious merchandise manufacturing web site the place they had been in a position to put their pucks on the line. Whereas L’Oreal websites have been outfitted with FDM 3D printing for the final 4 years, in some instances simply metres away from the manufacturing line, the collaborators have been impressed by the concepts the groups had been in a position to suppose up.

“What we want to keep in mind is that these guys have by no means seen a L’Oreal manufacturing line,” Forrester mentioned. “They’ve managed to supply these options with out actually understanding the surroundings through which they’ll be engaged on. They are not plug and play options. We will’t simply throw it straight onto the manufacturing line however what they’ve provide you with is completely different options which may encourage our groups, and we are able to combine a few of their concepts and methods of considering as properly which is simply as vital because the completed product.”

Forrester shares one instance from a runner up workforce the place a easy rubber band was used as an efficient various rather than a calibrated rubber strip, sometimes used for sound deadening. It may not be probably the most revolutionary idea however typically, the only concepts could be probably the most useful.

Forrester continued: “I feel the concept of getting a clear sheet and never being formatted by working in a sure surroundings lets you suppose exterior of the field.”

The truth is, Brian Alexander, AM World Product & Utility Supervisor at Solvay, remarked how the profitable components had been in a position to “just about match the efficiency and high quality” of their standard injection moulded equal, affirming not solely the success of the profitable workforce but additionally the rising potential for accessible 3D printing applied sciences in industrial settings.

Calvo added: “The scholars and the younger professionals have actually picked up on the truth that now you can design for course of in a method that you simply could not earlier than. 3D printing unlocks geometries that may be unattainable to supply in small portions in prototypes prior to now, and the profitable challenge is an excellent instance of that with these conformal fins – I am undecided the way you prototype these with out the usage of some form of 3D printing. They actually did take to coronary heart the truth that they had been designing useful merchandise, useful components. It actually unlocked their capacity to be inventive and progressive as a result of they weren’t shackled by conventional manufacturing strategies. It was good to see folks exterior of the 3D printing trade actually leveraging the skills of this know-how to unlock their design, innovation and design freedom.”

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