An Asturias-based company is currently writing the beautiful pages of Spain regarding additive manufacturing. Created by a woman that inspires by her passion for technology, Triditive currently provides the market with an automated 3D printing system called AMCELL.
In the words of the CEO and co-founder, “AMCELL is the answer to the industrialization of additive manufacturing”. However, before discovering how and why, you need to understand how everything started.
Mariel Diaz Castro is the year’s first guest of this “Opinion of the Week” segment. Today, she tells the company’s beginnings in the additive manufacturing market; beginnings that will make you believe in your passion on the eve of this new year, but above all, beginnings that will remind you the importance to consider each target’s needs, because in the end, Triditive’s strength lies in its ability to meet every target’s needs and its capacity to surround itself with leading players in the industry.
Mariel Diaz Castro, the woman behind Triditive
Mechanical Engineer by training, Mariel Diaz Castro studied industrial engineering. She worked at the Oviedo University in Gijón (Spain) and discovered additive manufacturing during her final project. She carried out researches on the subject and a few years later, Triditive started as a spinoff from the University.
At the beginning, the team was teaching students how to acquire new skills in additive manufacturing. However, the company really took off in a context where there is a lot of heavy metal industrial companies. Enable these companies to accelerate their adoption of additive manufacturing therefore becomes a mission, hence the 3D printing services the company provided.
Next to that, they observed the need for mass production at low cost, and it became essential to develop a unique machine capable to meet these needs and that’s exactly where AMCELL comes into play.
It is no secret that automation is the next hurdle to overcome in order to fully enable productivity. According to Mariel, “most of the 3D printers currently available on the market work with powder metal which is very dangerous to treat and lack automated features. AMCELL is the solution that will solve the challenges of mass manufacturing in a cost-effective way. Powered by the EVAM software, the machine is an automated industrial system for metals and polymers that requires minimal human intervention. It enables to carry out various manufacturing processes while taking into account urgent orders, minimizing production delays and allowing for remote monitoring of the production process.”
In order to explain the hybrid identity of the system, Mariel outlined a current problem faced by industrials: “industrials often use one system dedicated to metals and another one dedicated to polymers. The problem is that one always has to stick to the type of materials that a machine allows, which results either in waste of time or in waste of money for those who need both metals and polymers in their production processes. Our system enables to permute robotic hands that result in the use of both types of materials.”
Collaborations, the best way to develop AMCELL?
At the end of 2018, Triditive signed two partnerships to promote SCALADD, its additive manufacturing platform designed to enable companies to benefit from the advantages of the technology through AMCELL. The first partnership has been signed with Oviedo University and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University whereas the second has been signed with ECRIMESA Group.
“Collaborations are essential because it enables to take advantage of the whole expertise in order to develop AMCELL”, explained Mariel. “Indeed, additive manufacturing is not only about production, it is about the different stakeholders that are involved in the production process. That’s why SCALADD enables customers that cannot afford an industrial AM system to benefit not only from AMCELL, but also from our network of partners that cover the whole value chain of the technology. Our partnership with Oviedo University and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University will for instance enable us to push R&D and training forward; for materials and process quality assessment and certifications we have partnered with two important technological centers, Tecnalia and ITMA. Through the partnership with Mimecrisa and ELNIK, we will exploit quality debinding and sintering services and equipment; at the materials level, we are partnering with Fillamentum and collaborating with BASF. We are increasingly surrounding ourselves with big players of the industry but this does not prevent us from commercializing our system to other customers.”
The aim of the company
Being able to do prototyping with AM has become vulgar today. Triditive aims to go beyond this fact and foster the adoption of additive manufacturing by giving companies the possibility to manufacture final parts at low cost. That’s why, they target the industry in general. For Mariel, “if we look at the sectors that use the most the technology (aerospace, automotive), we will realize that today, the cost in AM is still high, especially for metal AM.”
“AMCELL is capable to produce continuously final parts in metal in a cost-effective way with minor human intervention. We provide full time production capacity compared to other AM solutions. We have developed the EVAM Software that enables us to control the traceability of the part, and most important to ensure the control of the industrial system. This results in an excellent optimization of the production of large batches as well as a reduction of delays in production, thanks to algorithms”, adds Mariel.
“We can do mass manufacturing. It’s very important that we have succeeded to lower the final cost of the part, automation of the whole printing process is today our biggest strength.”
However, as nothing is perfect, and as improvement is the only way to reach perfection, the CEO said they will improve traceability and develop more automated features for SCALADD. She did not precise which features would be improved.
Looking at 2019, what’s the main goal of the company?
In the first quarter, the company will open a new funding round. New industrial applications will be unveiled; applications that will, hopefully, enable to push the limits of AMCELL.
“We also want to increase the availability of our materials; the market can expect more metals in 2019”, confessed Mariel.
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