The strong focus on technological research is a strategic priority for 3DTECH, which in recent years has developed several national and international R&D projects with technological partnerships oriented to add operating value and obtain business differentiation.
Invasive Biomedical Devices for PIM – Powder Injection Molding
The BEPIM R&D Project, aimed at the development of engineering solutions for the manufacture of micromoulds that are suitable for the production of metallic microcomponents for the health sector, using powder technology.
This is a complete approach in which technical, technological, economic, quality and environmental aspects are combined to create products of reduced size for the medical field, specifically for dental implants.
The EUROTOOLING 21 research project allowed the consolidation of a new industrial segment through the creation of alternative production chains, oriented to the production of small series featuring high quality in medium and large product solutions.
With effective results in the manufacturing capacity of tools at substantially lower prices and deadlines, the operation of these chains is obtained through two new non-conventional processes to manufacture large molds, based on the use of Resins, Metallic Jets and Multimaterial Tools.
The DMLS technology has been regularity applied in Prototype Tools for small series of low technical specification. However, the evolution of this sintering process shows the need to make a technological extrapolation of the methodologies of Engineering and Mold Manufacturing for series production.
The superior characteristics of the new materials that can be processed through this technology can support the combined development of “Production Lines” based on Non-Conventional Manufacturing Technologies, namely Direct Metallic Sintering, with Conventional Technologies such as milling, erosion and/or rectification.
Considering the current challenges to direct and indirect suppliers of the Automotive Industry, the HARDGASKET project, in a consortium between 3DTECH, Amorim Industrial Solutions, PIEP and Centimfe, aimed at the development of competences in the areas of design and manufacture of components or systems for thermoplastics and Rubber with Cork – “Plastic Carrier Gasket”.
Clearly aimed at reducing associated costs and increasing overall performance, the major trends in the evolution and development of the Automotive Industry are increasingly focused on the aspects of Weight Reduction, NVH (Noise, Vibration and Hardness), Mounting Optimization (Handling) and Innovation.
The C-TEC project aimed to develop advanced molding solutions for biocomposites of polymer matrix reinforced with cellulose. Intended for sectors with high added value, it followed three strategic guidelines:
GREEN STRUCTURAL COMPOSITES: high performance biocomposites, incorporating cellulose fibers and cellulose nanocrystals into the thermoplastic matrix, oriented to the automotive sector;
GREEN COMPOSITES POT: biodegradable biocomposites with specific barrier properties, oriented towards the packaging sector;
GREEN COMPOSITES FOAM: low density biocomposites, using the application of Mucell, oriented to the sustainable (re)construction sector.
In a consortium made up of five business promoters and a scientific partner, the iCAD project aimed at developing a sophisticated software module integrated in the SIEMENS SolidEdge CAD system to support the growing challenges of the mold and tooling industry.
Aimed at mold design activities, iCAD focuses on the emerging areas of engineering & tooling, whose knowledge matrix of a more technological nature complements the traditional matrix of the sector. Thus, iCAD met the specific needs of some technological fringes in the area of molds for which there were not yet properly customized solutions, such as the medical field, micro-manufacturing and large molds for high-performance composite materials.
The BIOMAS II project aimed to develop a system for the fabrication of heterogeneous 3D structures in different materials, with several orientations of filaments at various scales, for bone applications of differentiated structure with the possibility of encapsulation of drugs.
In a consortium from 3DTech, Moliporex, CDRSP of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria and FCTUC – Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra, two additive manufacturing systems were developed (micro-coextrusion and electrospinning), zones and structures with unique properties and wide variety of features. Several hybrid biomaterials (synthetic and natural), approved by the FDA for manufacturing of scaffolds and bio-printing of organs, as well as the development of strategies for mimicking native tissues were also selected, combined and characterized.
The main focus of the BEPIM II project was on the development of ceramic coatings with the objective of improving bone-integrating capabilities of surface coatings, while simultaneously creating a modulus of elasticity compatible with the mean value of maxillary bone.
Focused on the manufacture of PIM bolts and nuts, the main objective of this project is to contribute to the performance of the implant, increasing the possibility of making adjustments between two different materials during all stages of the process and, at the same time, producing precision micromoulds that promote compatibility between threads – nut and bolt.
The mobilizing project TooIingEDGE – Sustainable Production of High Performance, brings several entities of the SCT and several companies together around common objectives, materializing an essential component of the strategy defined for the competitiveness of the Engineering & Tooling cluster.
All the research and development activities of this project aimed at developing the necessary knowledge to train and position the E&T industry in a whole new level, capable of competitively supply new sectors of activity such as aeronautics and the medical field.
The HYBRIDMould 21 project aimed at designing and implementing, on a pilot scale, a business for the production of small batches of large parts in thermoplastics. In this way, all the design and development of molds and tools was adequate to the features and dimensions of the parts, including the study of materials and equipment to be used in order to satisfy all the requirements of the transformation processes.
This area of research and development arises to respond to the demands of different sectors of Portuguese industry in the field of design and manufacture of molds for large pieces, be it outdoor furniture or urban furniture, but above all, to create an added value in the manufacture of molds, with the dimensional accuracy demanded by industrial sectors with high added value, such as the automotive, nautical, aeronautical and aerospace industries.