nsider and analysts predict 3D printing trends that you can watch in our latest series of articles focusing on the future of 3D printing.

The grocery company Ocado has revealed that it is now using 3D printing technology to build robots available at its filling facilities.

Speaking at the Ocado Re: Imagined virtual event earlier this week, Ocado CEO and founder Tim Steiner unveiled the company’s new 600 Series satellite robot, which will replace the current 500 series. Both the latest design is simpler and more expensive to make than its predecessors, thanks to part of its 3D-printed parts with HP MultiJet Fusion (MJF) technology.

Ocado believes that his new way of producing robots will lead to significant improvements in packaging operations, all while reducing daily operating costs.

Steiner said, “Because 600 Series bots work very economically and require very little power to achieve the same result from the same location, new sites will require less cool equipment, lower energy consumption and total construction costs.”
Ocado Robot Fill 600 Series. Photo by Ocado.
Ocado Orbit model

During the Covid-19 epidemic, Ocado’s business was growing exponentially, as online grocery delivery grew significantly over the past two years. According to Steiner, this means that the factory’s fulfillment centers have been working overtime to maintain fast delivery.

To meet this need, Ocado has developed what it calls “the world’s first visible distribution center”. The smart platform eliminates the need for an entire network of regional distribution centers, creating a system in which small warehouses share a single visible center instead. Each of the robotic warehouses hold a small portion of the platform stock but all have access to the entire product range, which means that customers from far and wide can order anything they want.

Utilizing machine learning capabilities, Ocada Orbit transports the granite from the center to the center to ensure that there is sufficient supply to meet the need in any area.

The new 600 Series bot

The efficiency of Ocado delivery can be largely due to the construction of factory hardware. The new 600 series is designed using topology development techniques, making it simple but sturdy and well suited for extra work. According to the company, the latest model is five times simpler than its predecessor and is expected to be live at fulfillment centers in the coming months. Thanks to the flexibility of the robot, the company will also be able to print 3D dynamic components where needed in its storage areas.

As the 600 Series is portable, it gives Ocado the opportunity to build light grids so the bots can cross over. These new grids can be built in weeks rather than months and can be included in a wide range of buildings.

Steiner adds, “The dramatic reduction in material used for our simple grids not only simplifies site design, but also allows us to incorporate our new technologies into simpler buildings, greatly reducing the time and cost associated with constructing purpose-built buildings. . ”

The 3D printed 600 Series bot works in conjunction with the robot arm to place grocer orders in the vans. Photo by Ocado.
As Ocado no doubt understands, robots can be a good application for additional production. Recently, ETH Zurich researchers used 3D printing to create a cat-independent robot capable of mimicking the movements of real animals. 3D printed using SLS, FDM and MJF within nine months, the ‘Dyana’ features of the boot touch the pumpkin pads, allowing them to work freely.

Elsewhere, XRobots ’James Bruton, a robotic engineer and YouTuber 3D printer, recently unveiled his dog V3 3D printed robot. OpenDog called OpenDog, an open source project, has been in operation for a few years now and is intended as a more affordable, less expensive alternative to Boston Dynamics ’Spot (selling for ~ $ 75,000).
Insiders and analysts have made their predictions on 3D printing trends that they should be aware of. Find out more in our series that focuses on the future of 3D printing.

The US national 3D printing maker America Makes has made a lot of new support available to those emerging technologies that address the additional production of components with ‘high-speed’ applications.

Specifically, as part of its Leveraging Additive for High Velocity Applications program or ‘LAVA’ program, the center has issued a $ 500,000 project model based on powerful models to help reduce the perceived variability in machined 3D component structures. -Speed ​​usage, which may prevent their shipping.

“This is a great opportunity to collaborate and learn how model-based approaches can promote product compliance,” explains Dr. Brand Ribic, Technical Director of America Makes.

“The scope of the project call gives our membership a wide range of opportunities to explore various production processes (AM) and material systems, and we are pleased to continue to meet the needs of the US Department of Defense (DoD) and domestic AM,” he added.
America Builds a building in Youngstown, Ohio. Photo by America Makes.
Unveiling the $ 500k ‘LAVA’ project

Sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the LAVA project for America Makes is widely designed to attract new proposals that meet the cost and capacity of US defense and commercial defense applications, and in particular, those that enhance global 3D competition. printing parts of what it calls ‘high-mach’ use.

While America Makes has not yet made it clear which of these components it wants to improve, AFRL’s participation illuminates the program’s objectives. For previous projects, the lab used the AI ​​‘digital lifecycle platf’ developed by digital AI.

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