Addressing the challenges of custom design was the main focus of our project with Kuhn-Stoff GmbH & Co KG.
Long since commonplace in the production of robotic gripping tools, additive manufacturing turned the industry on its head drastically lowering costs, reducing production and assembly times, and creating lightweight components. However, one problem remained: creating the designs for custom grippers. Kuhn-Stoff turned to us to create a configurator that could automate the design of custom robotic grippers, no small task. We had to balance strength and lightweight construction requirements, while giving users the ability to intuitively place grip points for their unique application. To complicate matters further, the pneumatically powered gripping systems require air channels to be built into the structure of the hand.
The end result is a configurator that combines these factors and automatically generates the optimal gripper shape based on parameters set by the user.
Hannes Kuhn, CEO of Kuhn-Stoff predicts that thanks to the configurator the average design time for a custom gripper hand will be reduced from around eight hours to a matter of minutes. These time savings could correspond to serious savings for manufacturers.
CAD expertise no longer a pre-requisite
Beyond savings, automating the design process is also about breaking down barriers in the production of custom grippers. trinckle’s configurator allows anyone, regardless of their technical skills, to manage the design process. Eliminating the need for specific 3D design or CAD knowledge marks an important progression in product design, opening the door to customized products for businesses in any sector.
Hannes Kuhn sees this last point as the most significant added value for the use of automation: “We expect that the web-based configurator to grant clients without significant CAD-knowledge access to robotic grippers made with additive manufacturing. This is particularly relevant, for example, when changes need to be made quickly during the design process.”
“In the industrial context, we see an enormous potential for individualized solutions: in the creation of products with a perfect fit, in the ability to integrate clients more deeply in the production process, and in cost-efficient automated processes. Additive manufacturing offers all of these possibilities - we at trinckle want to make them usable for businesses.”DR. OLE BRÖKER, HEAD OF BUSDEV TRINCKLE
Beyond fundamentally altering the design process, businesses will be changed by the combination of AM and customization software in their entirety. These changes can present a challenge to business looking to introduce digital manufacturing technologies. As software experts in the additive manufacturing field, we are the ideal partner to support your business in this new industrial age.