Unlocking potential of 3-D printing

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    fi additive advanced manufacturing manager Derek Manson. Photo: Supplied

    TURNING a concept of a kayaking arm into reality was one of the most rewarding projects for a Southland technology company.

    fi additive advanced manufacturing manager Derek Manson said creating parts for boats, bikes and general machinery was something his company was used to dealing with.

    But after receiving funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund in 2019, the company bought a $250,000-plus revolutionary post-processing additive manufacturing
    machine which aims to take the benefits of additive manufacturing and prosthetics to the next level.

    ‘‘Essentially the only technology of its kind and the only one in Australasia.

    ‘‘The PostPro3D offered endless opportunities, not just for the medical industry, but also for aerospace, automotive, and every industry in between when it comes to optimising part production, enhancing their smoothness and generating products with unbeatable air-tightness.’’

    Mr Manson said they had been working with national healthcare providers to empower those living with disabilities and when the team got the opportunity to be a part of building prosthetics through additive manufacturing, it was a ‘‘no-brainer’’.

    ‘‘From manufacturing an artificial leg to designing and then turning a concept of a kayaking arm into a reality, it has been the most rewarding and worthwhile work we’ve done yet.’’

    The introduction of this machine on the market would help to reduce surface quality issues which were commonly associated with 3-D printing, he said.

    ‘‘One of the biggest benefits for recipients of the prosthetic limbs produced by the PostPro3D would be a far lesser risk of bacterial infections and the element of increased
    comfort.’’

    Mr Manson said the machine itself could process hundreds of parts in just a few hours.

    He believed the technology could help industries including marine, transport and even aerospace.

    ‘‘It is a very unique machine. It unlocks the potential of 3-D printing on so many levels.’’

    fi additive will promote a virtual launch of the machine at 3.30pm today.

    To register, email info@f-i.co.nz.

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