Rize Uses Voxel Control for Augmented Reality in 3D-Printed Parts

Rize Uses Voxel Control for Augmented Reality in 3D-Printed Parts
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on April 12, 2018 | | 121 views

Rize Inc. emerged from stealth almost two years ago, unveiling an office-ready 3D printer with unique capabilities including minimal post-processing and the ability to print ink directly on printed parts. Now, Rize has unveiled the first practical applications of this inkwriting technology with what it calls Digitally Augmented Parts, which can utilize embedded ink patterns for augmented reality and other Industrial 4.0 technologies.

A part 3D printed with APD featuring an embedded QR code. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

A part 3D printed with APD featuring an embedded QR code. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

Rize’s Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD) combines thermoplastic extrusion with inkjet printing to bring elements of voxel control to the 3D printing process. This includes printing a special interface material in between the printed object and its support structures, allowing for quick support removal. It also means that Rize can integrate traditional 2D printing inks into the process, so that images, text and symbols can be written onto the surface of parts.

Rize’s Digitally Augmented Parts utilize this latter capability to embed markers, such as QR codes, onto parts that can provide traceability through the manufacturing process and lifecycle of the parts. A smartphone app can then be used to scan the code and call up the information. Rize is emphasizing the use of the 3MF file format, which is meant to include information beyond the simple geometry of a 3D file, for such an application. In addition to details like color, 3MF can carry data related to a component’s origin.

“This is the first step towards embedding intelligent capabilities within the part and connecting them through a digital thread into the digital twin of the part,” said Rize President and CEO Andy Kalambi, who was recently interviewed by engineering.com. “Rize is leading the integration of additive manufacturing into the digital ecosystem, which will redefine the user and customer and experience, and ultimately scale the technology to an entirely new segment of commercial and industrial users.”

Parts can be 3Dprinted to feature QR codes that can call up manufacturing information in a smartphone or tablet app. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

Parts can be 3Dprinted to feature QR codes that can call up manufacturing information in a smartphone or tablet app. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

As we learned from our earlier interview with Rize in 2016, APD, in some respects, mirrors HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), in that the use of inkjetting enables the introduction of functional inks. HP actually demonstrated a similar application for MJF, showing how an AR app can be used to scan a 3D-printed part with an embedded QR code.

Similar to some of the future capabilities that HP is promising with its MJF, Rize could also one day release inks that are electrically conductive, thermo-insulating or thermo-conducting. Though HP has substantial size and capital behind it, it may be that Rize, which has the flexibility of a small startup, will release these products sooner. Kalambi mentioned in our interview with him that the company is working on its future printers. Potential customers may have their fingers crossed that these new materials are in the works as well.

To learn more, visit the Rize website.

Rize Details Impact of Post-Processing on 3D Printing in New Report from Todd Grimm

rizelogoBased out of Woburn, Massachusetts, the industrial 3D printing company Rize has made it a primary goal to rid professional-grade 3D printing of the laborious and costly need for post-processing. Their recently unveiled industrial desktop 3D printer, the Rize One, is said to completely eliminate the need for post-processing, helping manufacturers cut costs and streamline their operations. Their patented Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD) enables users to bind thermoplastic filament with functional inks, which leads to simple and clean support removal.

We recently spoke with Rize about their patented technology and removing the need for post-processing, and now, to prove the immense strain that post-processing places on manufacturers, the industrial 3D printing company has released a detailed report on the subject entitled “3D Printing: the Impact of Post Processing.” Rize commissioned renowned industry expert Todd Grimm, who has 17 years of experience in the product development industry, to construct the report. To provide a comprehensive look at the impact of post-processing, Grimm interviewed six global manufacturers representing the automotive, consumer products, medical devices, sporting goods, and architecture industries.


Rize’s patented Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD)

The report starts by discussing the misconception of post-processing as a “necessary evil,” and then moves into the two categories of post-processing: primary and secondary. Primary post-processing consists of all of the mandatory steps needed to make the part suitable for its application, which generally includes cleaning and support structure removal. Secondary post-processing, on the other hand, is used to improve the aesthetic or function of the part, which includes methods such as priming or painting.

After speaking with the six global manufacturers, Grimm was able to discern that prospective users should plan for one hour of post-processing for every one to six hours of 3D printing, which translates to a 17% to 100% increase in total process time. Of course, this time frame is completely dependent on the part itself, as smaller, more intricate parts take longer to post-process than larger, simple ones. Another factor is the staff needed for post-processing, which can range anywhere from a 1:1 to 1:3 ratio of machine operators to part finishers.

Todd Grimm

Todd Grimm

Additionally, facilities must also be considered when post-processing comes into play. The necessary post-processing equipment and workspace require a generous amount of room, usually taking up one-half to one square foot of space per each square foot of 3D printer space. As for the six companies’ biggest concerns when it comes to post-processing, time and money were among the most glaring. Grimm’s report breaks down the costs that post-processing adds to the 3D printing process – namely labor costs, which seem to be the primary concern of manufacturing companies. Those businesses operating 4 to 10 3D printers spend an average of $100,000 to $500,000 on labor, which equates to $25,000 to $50,000 per year for each 3D printer in use.

As for time, Grimm found that post-processing adds 17% to 100% additional time to the manufacturing process, which is dependent on a batch-by-batch basis. Post-processing a single part is not usually a very time-consuming endeavor, but as more parts come into play, post-processing can severely debilitate the production process. Additionally, post-processing can actually delay the process time by 24 hours or more. For instance, if a part is finished printing towards the end of the work day, the need to post-process will delay the operation until the next day.

“Without post-processing, the value of 3D printing could increase substantially,” Grimm states. “For some, it would allow them to perform more value-added tasks to improve part quality and expand the application base. For others, it would dramatically accelerate the total process, which increases responsiveness and total throughput. For those adding new 3D printers, eliminating post-processing would reduce labor expense by $25,000 to $50,000 for each machine.”

rizeAdditionally, the six companies used in the report also cited quality, staffing, facilities, and safety as secondary issues that come with post-processing. Ultimately, Grimm claims post-processing to be a “non-value-added function” that puts a heavy burden on the manufacturing process. This is exactly why Rize and their Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD) sets them apart from other industrial 3D printer manufacturers. Their post-process-free 3D printing technology can potentially lead to a faster and more automated workflow that is more efficient and less costly.

You can read Grimm’s full report on the impact of post-processing here.