Royal DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition, health and sustainable living, and Twikit, a Belgian 3D software and application development company, have announced a new partnership, which is a further extension of DSM’s ongoing commitment to build a 3D printing ecosystem. The collaboration is aimed at driving innovation in additive manufacturing and encouraging its adoption across industries. Together, the two companies will co-develop new 3D printed solutions for medical, automotive and apparel applications. DSM and Twikit are currently working on an end-to-end production workflow for 3D printed orthotics and prosthetics, showcasing additive manufacturing’s unparalleled customizability.
Combining DSM’s proven materials and market reach with Twikit’s experience in software development and application development will facilitate extensive progress in advanced manufacturing techniques. The partnership between the two companies will lead to revolutionary new customizability and made-to-measure turnkey solutions across various industries. Both Twikit and DSM are known for their partnership approach across the 3D printing value chain.
Focus on automotive, healthcare and footwear
Specifically, DSM and Twikit will explore new applications in the automotive, healthcare and footwear industries. The process leading up to the final 3D printed product will always comprise an initial 3D scan, product design, material optimization, testing and modeling. Twikit’s unique morphing algorithm will further enable and improve the design of made-to-measure products.
The automotive industry in particular gains from personalized dashboards, light covers and car seats. Aside from delivering customizability, additive manufacturing facilitates weight reduction and increased vehicle safety. Other important advantages of 3D printing include spare parts on-demand, low volume production, and a more efficient production process.
The healthcare industry would also benefit from a digital transformation, i.e. performance-enhanced medical solutions provided by precise, made-to-measure applications based on detailed scans of the human body. 3D printed medical solutions also have shorter lead times and lower production costs than traditionally manufactured equivalents.
Lastly, 3D printed and made-to-measure mid insoles will enable major advances in customizable footwear. Individualized soles and insoles are known for their increased performance and comfort, in addition to reducing the risk of injuries for end users.
Bringing 3D printing to the production floor
Hugo da Silva, vice president – Additive Manufacturing DSM, says, “Our partnership with Twikit allows us to make significant advances in key sectors that stand to benefit from the wider-scale adoption of additive manufacturing. In healthcare, for example, 3D printed, made-to-measure prosthetics and orthotics will positively impact people’s lives across the globe. Reinforcing our 3D printing ecosystem with experienced partners like Twikit enables us to offer customers not just materials, but also expertise and insights to translate market needs into total 3D printed solutions. By providing end-to-end solutions, we are able to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing at scale.”
One specific market Twikit and DSM are focusing on, is the prosthetics and orthotics industry. Despite the clear advantages of advanced additive manufacturing techniques in terms of customizability and production efficiency, their adoption by prosthetics and orthotics manufacturers is still limited.
By integrating DSM’s proven and certified materials with Twikit’s software, the resulting 3D printing turnkey solution provides patients with better and faster care. Patients stand to benefit from a higher level of comfort and faster healing thanks to made-to-measure 3D printed medical solutions. The companies are also working together with printer OEMs, so as to give prosthetics and orthotics manufacturers a turnkey full solution and full access to the 3D printing value chain.
The aim is to market Twikit’s made-to-measure software solution ‘TwikFit’ and develop tested and verified product templates. The jointly developed and integrated applications by DSM and Twikit will be unveiled to the public at Formnext 2019 in Frankfurt.
Martijn Joris, chief executive officer and co-founder of Twikit, adds, “Prosthetics and orthotics are an excellent example of the digital transformation and the enhanced customizability enabled by 3D printing. Our work in other sectors, such as the apparel and automotive industries, has already demonstrated that additive manufacturing can generate high value for OEMs through individualization. By the partnership, we will accelerate growth and innovation across the 3D printing value chain.”