ITI and CADfix make advances in smart prosthetics manufacturing platform as part of EU initiative
Cambridge, UK, May 4, 2017 – International TechneGroup Limited (ITI) announces its ongoing participation in European Horizon 2020 research project, Symbionica. The project, which reached the halfway mark this month, aims to develop a cutting-edge additive and subtractive manufacturing platform that can produce fully customizable smart prostheses for the medical technology industry.
Symbionica was formed to address the current state of customized prosthetics development and manufacture. Production today is limited due to the cost and manufacturing techniques available to medical technologists. By utilizing new CAD, CAE, 3D printing and multi-material additive and subtractive manufacturing production processes, new and more complex designs with a finer level of customization are possible. Doctors will be able to provide implants that meet the specific needs of each patient.
Symbionica began in October 2015 and since then ITI has been working with a consortium of industry partners lead by Sintea Plustek srl, toward the goal of developing improved 3D computer aided design capabilities to support the Symbionica additive manufacturing processes. ITI’s CADfix team has been providing CAD geometry handling expertise and custom solution development to the project.
ITI was selected to be part of Symbionica due to the versatility of the CADfix integration platform and its advanced geometry manipulation capabilities that could provide rapid support for the new manufacturing processes. CADfix, the leading software solution for CAD model translation, repair and simplification, has provided a customizable user interface framework for the Symbioinca Co-Engineering Platform, and real time geometry processing at multiple stages of the Symbionica manufacturing process, including accurate 2D slicing of CAD models and point cloud to CAD comparison.
Accurately sliced parts with colored contours showing the height from the base of the build platform
“Symbionica is at the forefront of research into the next generation of additive manufacturing systems,” said Chris Fellows, ITI’s Symbionica project head. “The combination of partners and technologies makes this project an excellent opportunity to learn and innovate in such a rapidly changing field.”
“ITI continues to ensure that CADfix delivers breakthroughs in 3D geometry processing, tackling some of the toughest 3D geometry issues affecting industry,” explained Andy Chinn, ITI UK Commercial Director. “Working closely with customers on project initiatives such as Symbionica, ITI is able to clearly identify areas where novel geometry processing technology is required, and that could have a significant impact on engineering process efficiency.”
Advances in Additive Manufacturing (AM), often referred to as 3D-Printing, provide a resource- and cost-efficient way to produce highly complex and customized components, single parts or small batches of products. There is great potential for medical applications, including prostheses and implants that are highly customized for a perfect fit. However, manufacturing such complex parts requires the development of new manufacturing processes and machines that integrate design and appropriate controls to ensure products meet strict safety and health specifications. Symbionica’s approach is to focus on the development of a 3D-Printer that can make customized prostheses on demand. The printer will be able to make complex products in one processing step, incorporating different types of materials – a real novelty in the AM field. The researchers plan to integrate the printer in a platform on which designers, engineers and other stakeholders can collaborate to customize prostheses. Symbionica is also creating what the project describes as a ‘bionic through-life sensing system’. This would provide ongoing support to patients fitted with prostheses. The assistance would include personalised exercise plans and sensors to monitor patients’ health conditions. http://www.symbionicaproject.eu/
About International TechneGroup (ITI)
International TechneGroup Incorporated began in 1983 with a mission to help manufacturers drive innovation and time to market by applying computer-aided product development to engineering problems. Today, ITI is the global leader providing reliable interoperability, validation and migration solutions for product data and related systems. Our customers recognize the value in having a trusted solution partner that provides more than just software. ITI solves complex product data interoperability problems so that the world’s leading manufacturers can focus on making great products. www.iti-global.com