Monday, September 26, 2016

News: Picsima to showcase revolutionary polymer printer

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Fripp Design and Research, one of the UK's leading product design, research and business consultancies, is returning to a leading trade show to showcase its method of 3D printing silicone that has the potential to revolutionise the medical market and create commercial benefits across all sectors.

With bases in London and on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, Fripp are experts in all areas of product design and industrial design with customers ranging from blue chip companies, to UK leading universities, to individual inventors and entrepreneurs. It also develops its own own intellectual property in areas ranging from DIY to healthcare.

Picsima is a 3D printer developed on the AMP that prints in full colour silicone, a world's first, that will revolutionise the rapid manufacture of soft tissue prosthetics, including "new" ears, noses and eyes.

Instead of mixing components together, placing them in a mould, and waiting some time for rubber to set, experts at Fripp have figured out how to use the catalyst component to create three dimensional geometry without the need for a mould.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it had secured the UK patent specific to a method for creating three dimensional geometry from a class of polymers using the "addition curing" method of vulcanisation.

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With the support of a small UK Government grant, the company has developed a demonstrator to allow them to get a better understanding of what the market opportunities are for 3D Printing Platinum Curing Silicones.

The advancements are being showcased by Fripp at the UK's leading show on 3D printing and additive manufacturing - TCT + Personalize - which is dedicated to accelerating the adoption of 3D technologies and attracts 8,000 people. It will provide customers, potential investors and other interested stakeholders with the opportunity to see how they 3D Print silicone and gauge the quality of the parts they are already capable of producing; all on a shoestring budget.

Steve Roberts, director and co owner of Fripp Design, said: "The world of 3D Printing is changing with greater emphasis on materials rather than process. The explosion in interest in metal 3D Printing is been driven by factors such as the materials used because they are already well established and used in other manufacturing methods.

"Polymer based 3D Printing is very different, most polymers are specially formulated for the process selected; meaning that material properties are compromised and restricted into where they can be used.

"Fripp Design and Research have come to the world of polymer based 3D Printing from the complete opposite position. We have taken an existing industrial/medical material - silicone (specifically platinum curing silicones) - and worked out how to create three dimensional geometry without casting, a very similar approach to how metals are being 3D Printed."

Picsima website

Images: Picsima


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