International student competitie
Since September, we have been researching and brainstorming the idea of writing our own proposal for an international student competition. Now, the first draft of the proposal is nearly finished and we are almost ready to start spreading the word. What will the competition be about? What will the participants need to deliver? Who can participate? Soon you'll get your answer to these questions when we introduce the competition officially, stay tuned!
Upgrading Filament Extrusion line
The development of the extrusion line to make 3D print filament out of recycled plastics started last year. This year we are solving the flaws that the machine had and further improving the prototype. For example; we are updating the communication between the different modules (heater,puller and winder) by using a central control interface.
Filament out of Cigarettes
Cigarette butts is one of the most found plastics in the seas and oceans and has become an enormous problem. We try to purify these filters biochemically and treat them with plasticizer to give these filters a second life in a 3D-printing application.
Own Filament Extrusion line
To produce our own filament and reuse failed prints or other excess plastics we are developing our own filament extruder. This machine will produce a filament with the right diameter and coil the filament automatically on a spool.
To inspire the future generation of engineers and scientist we organise STEM-workshops concerning 3D-printing. By showing these children and their parents all the possibilities of 3D-printing we hope that this technique will become even more popular.
In order to optimize one of our client's materials for 3D printing applications, we developed our very own stereolithography (SLA) printer. This allows us to carry out the necessary experiments in order to modify the properties of the resin and thereby reach an optimal material that can be used for additive manufacturing.
By converting a fused deposition modelling (FDM) printer, we are able to print viscous materials via a piston based mechanism. Loading of a medium containing cells into the syringe, makes bioprinting of complex structures possible. In order to ensure optimal viability of these cells, a cooling system was developed which allows for the precise control of the ambient temperature. In order to obtain optimal print results, adaptations were made to the operating software as well. UV curing, sterilization and air filtration are a few examples of options that still have to be implemented.
Filament from waste
As most plastics are made out of petroleum, it comes as no surprise that they have a significant environmental impact. Because we at Innovived care about the environment, new ways are investigated to create filament in a more sustainable manner. To achieve this, we are currently using coffee grounds to develop a new type of filament which will be more biodegradable. In the future we hope to be working on other waste streams as well such as spent grains from beer production and cellulose fibres from vegetal origin.
Hydrogels have already been widely used for several tissue engineering applications. They form the backbone of bioprinted structures while also providing binding sites for cells. Protection and attachment of the cells is important for various cellular processes. Currently, we are developing several different hydrogels in order to optimize the viability of the printed cells.