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3D Cocooner: Creating Bionic Lattice Structures with a Robotic Spinneret

by • April 7, 2016 • No Comments

  • Producing lattice structures with 3D printing innovation provides significant benefits – which include reduced material cost, lighter mass, faster production time, and increased flexibility – to a number of industries. These rigorous, nature-based structures are especially significant to the aerospace and car sectors, two areas where additive making is growing exponentially. The German bionic tech company, Festo, has only announced 3D Cocooner, a new innovation intended to spin up these one-of-a-kind structures by converting soft thread into solid lattice structures.

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    For 3D Cocooner, Festo utilizes a spinneret to conjure up lattice structures of a special resin. As soon as this resin comes out of the spinneret, the mix of glass fibers and resin are automatically and accurately cured by UV light, hardening the material into a strong rod form. The threading process can be stopped and reset at any part of the lattice structure, allowing users to spin up a few rigorous thread patterns.

    “During the process, the thread can be reset at any point on the lattice structure, where it continues to turn it into. In this way, it is possible to turn it into actually rigorous shapes in three-dimensional space without any supports,”the Festo team states on their website.

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    The spinneret is attached onto a tripod, which allows for for direct control and handling of where the thread is turn it intod. The tripod receives positional data and control signals straight of an animation software. This 3D design is and so parametrically created, sent directly into the tripod handling process, and actuallytually results in the desired lattice structure. The current turn it into space of the 3D Cocooner is 450 x 300 x 600 mm, and prints at a speed of 10 mm per 2nd. Festo claims which their cured fiber material does not only contribute one-of-a-kind lattice-based shapes, but in addition has properties which provides “astonishing tensile and bending strength”.

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    The 3D Cocooner can be front and center in a demonstration at Germany’s Hannover Messe trade show, an all-encompassing industrial exhibition bringing place of April 25 to 29. To me, the 3D Cocooner approximately looks like the industrial-grade, automated design of a 3D printing pen, regulated by a dead-accurate robotic process instead of the human hand.

    By the way, this is not Festo’s initially time via insect-inspiration to turn it into new innovation. Last year, they made BionicANT robots, a tiny ant-based robot turn it intod with 3D printing and an electronic circuit. Once again, mother nature and a few of her tinyest critters have influenced Festo’s one-of-a-kind talent to create these bionic lattice structures, which are becoming increasingly significant as 3D printing innovation continues to spin through the industrial sector.


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