Picsima is the next generation 3D Printer, currently under development by UK based Fripp Design and Research.
The idea for 3D Printing silicone directly came as a result of a technical challenge in 3D Printing soft tissue prostheses. The current method is a two stage process which involves 3D printing a colour scaffold (using 3D Systems ZCorp technology) which is post processed by infiltrating with medical grade silicone under pressure. Although the prostheses are, visually, stunning; when they are flexed the scaffold material delaminates from the silicone demonstrating 'crazing' lines. This was the motivator for wanting to 3D Print silicone directly.
In January 2013, a grant was secured from the Technology Strategy Board to investigate the feasibility of 3D Printing silicone. It is this grant that provided the resources to develop a test rig to prove the method developed.
In October 2013 a patent application was registered with the UK Patent Office.
However the process is not restricted to silicone, there are many other materials that can be processed providing a range of functions and features never seen before in one 3D Print technology, features such as:
- The ability to print soft and hard materials simultaneously
- Shore Hardness of below 20 Shore A
- Support for Magnetic and Electonically conductive materials
- Sterilisable Silicone parts from -30C to 250C
- Scalable Technology
- Supporting full colour
Please note that the samples, opposite, are from the test rig. The process to develop Picsima from a test rig to a fully developed product is understood; Fripp Design and Research are Industrial Designers first.
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© Fripp Design Limited 2013