Our challenge? To print without geometrical limits

At the Direct Ink Writing (DIW) research team, we work to develop new 3D printing systems based on the needs of researchers, who facilitate us through this technology, also known as Robocasting.

With DIW technology we use ink, a material with a high viscosity, which is expelled layer by layer through a high-performance volumetric deposition system, allowing the creation of overly complex structures, impossible for other technologies.

Potential applications of DIW are the production of high-specific surface structures – such as catalyst beds or fuel cell parts – as well as biologically compatible tissue implants that are currently the most developed application through this technology.

From CIM UPC we participate in different leading projects, a key factor for the development of equipment with an advanced TRL that we can adapt to the different needs of researchers, allowing our clients to continue advancing in this technique in their respective fields of study.

The R+D+I group can partner in both competitive projects and through technology transfer. At our Pilot Plant we can support in the following areas:

  • Rheology and characterization of inks.
  • Development and manufacture of DIW technology 3D printing machines.
  • Manufacture of small series.
  • Sintering and heat treatments.
  • Inspection and characterization of materials and final parts.

Thanks to our experience in various research projects that we have participated in as a DIW systems development team, we have a wide range of equipment and a portfolio of collaborators, mostly university and private research groups, who are looking for excellence in their fields of study with the incorporation of such equipment.

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    Dual Paste Extruder

    Transport

    AMFEED

    Fenix

    Base3D

    3D Bioprinters

    Vivaldi

    Hibri4D

    Cluster MAV

    The project consists of the design, execution and start-up of a numerical control system capable of extruding two types of pasty materials, without these having to come in wire format as usual. In this way, 3D printing of chocolates and sugar pastes is made possible with remarkable results, in addition to other inedible pastes such as ceramics as well as the combination of two of these. Its operation consists of a rack and pinion system that, activated by the stepper, directly pushes the plunger of a syringe.

    With this system, the range of materials for our printed parts is expanded, admitting a great variety of viscosities in adapting tips of different diameters in the syringe, and also the possibilities of this technology in different market sectors such as culinary or construction.

    Transport project is framed within the community of Llavor 3D, which is driven by Generalitat the Catalunya to accelerate and develop the adaptation of additive manufacturing in the industrial sector and financed through the operational program ERDF Catalonia 2014-2020.

    The objective of the project is to replace pieces of metallic base material for aluminium-plastic base material that alleviates the weight, improves the performance of the current components and entails a reduction in the cost of the raw material and the production process while preserving the physicochemical properties of the coating (transmission bars, fasteners, shock absorber shafts, etc.) through the application of AM / 3DP technologies. The transport industry, and even more so the rail industry, is very much oriented towards reducing costs. Especially on the tram and metro product lines, where there is a lot of competition.

    The AMFEED project studies new methods of manufacturing sintered porous components based on 3D printing techniques. The main objective of the project consists in the development of a new technological scientific knowledge, focused on additive manufacturing techniques, which allows obtaining metallic and ceramic parts characterized by a level of controlled porosity, and which are oriented to fields such as health or microelectronics.

    Thanks to the use of the fused wire manufacturing technique (FFF) we can design and define, in a controlled way, the internal pore of the final piece, working with the internal composition of the material for compounding processes (degree of intrinsic porosity), thus such as internal holes/gaps derived from the layering itself and the strategies used.

    Project reference

    RTC-2017-6363-5

    Program and call

    Project funded by the MINISTRY OF SCIENCE, INNOVATION AND UNIVERSITIES and by the European Union, within the framework of the Call Challenges-Collaboration of the State Program for Research, Development and Innovation Oriented to the Challenges of Society, within the State Plan for Scientific Research and technical and innovation 2013-2016, with the main objective of promoting technological development, innovation and quality research.

    FEDER

    The FENIX project aims to study and develop a set of innovative business models, industrial strategies and supply chains based on the “circular life cycle” concept. The project will demonstrate how reclaimed materials will bring new value-added products to life through additive manufacturing.

    The aim is to define more sustainable ways to develop, use and reintroduce whole products, components or materials within the supply chain, through the circular economy. From the CIM we contribute to this project the knowledge for the design, development and manufacture of additive manufacturing processes, focused on reducing operating costs and environmental impacts and on improving the performance of the processes.

    Project Funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.

    Grant Agreement ID: 760792

    fenix_logo.png

    The emerging group BASE3D, coordinated by the CIM UPC, is a group of research centres created to promote research, technological development and innovation in 3D Printing, and which has proposed to increase the TRL (Technology Readiness Level) of various lines manufacturing of additive manufacturing technologies, and that it will do so by executing projects that total a global investment of about € 3.7 million.

    For this, 4 projects have been promoted:

    • LIGHT3D: Laser and Other Light Technologies, led by LEITAT.
    • FUSE3D: Technologies for semi-phase material deposition, led by HSJD.
    • INK3D: Technologies for the deposition of continuous inks, led by the UPC BBT research group.
    • HYBRI3D: Technologies for multi material hybridization, which we lead from the CIM UPC.

    It is 50% co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-20 of Catalonia with the support of the Department of Research and Universities.

    The trajectory of CIM UPC allows us to develop and design customized equipment, using our own technologies and know-how from the idea to the machine, and offering printing parameters such as size, speed, temperature, sealing and sterilization, which are not available to equipment on the market.

    VIVALDI responds to the growing demand for metal and ceramic powders, currently not available on the market, as a result of the rapid expansion of the AM sector. Currently, this demand is satisfied mainly from powders manufactured using gas atomization technologies, which generate a powder of adequate dimensions and quality, but at a high cost. The VIVALDI project arises from the need to find ways to obtain and use powders from recycled sources to improve the sustainability of the process, as well as reduce the cost of production.

    This project will be carried out in a consortium of 6 SMEs covering the entire value chain. GRUPAL ART, BCIRCULAR, TMCOMAS, COLFEED,BCN3D and SAMYLABS. CIM UPC will contribute to the project all its knowledge about 3D printing of materials with a high metallic and ceramic load, as well as its know-how in the development of specialized advanced printing equipment. The project will have the collaboration of other research centers: Eurecat, CSIC-ICV and CSIC-CENIM.

    The main objective of the HIBRI4D project focuses on the research and development of Multimaterial Additive Manufacturing (MMAM) technology, for the development of multimaterial/multifunctional smart parts and devices with embedded electronics and sensors in a single process; without the need for subsequent machining and post-processing for hybridization of components; thus expanding and strengthening one of the key technologies in Industry 4.0; for flexible, customized and automated production.

    The HIBRI4D consortium is made up of a group of five SMEs, BCN 3D, EDSER LABS, Calçats HERGAR, SENSING TEX, and SMART MATERIAL. Likewise, the consortium has the external collaboration of technology centers and research groups specialized in additive manufacturing technologies: AIMPLAS, CTCR and CIM UPC.

    The project consists of developing a systematized process for the manufacture of advanced and personalized solutions with silicone. Experimental development of silicone prototypes using 3D printing technology, to manufacture new products with high added value that enable the diversification of solution portfolios of the members of the MAV Cluster with the entry into new market niches. The project encompasses two main phases: 1. Feasibility study: study and analyze the technical feasibility of the 3D silicone printing process. 2. Systematized process for 3D printing of industrial silicone components.

    Participants: Advanced Materials Cluster (MAV Cluster); Venair, CIM UPC.