Helio Additive to launch new slicing software that “increases 3D printing output and reliability”

3D rendering of a 3D printed object, colored by stress relaxation level. Image via Helio added.

3D rendering of a 3D printed object, colored by stress relaxation level. Image via Helio added.

AM Chronicle Editor

Chinese software startup Helio Additive has revealed plans to launch a new program designed to help software makers everywhere increase their segment productivity and consistency.

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The Helio Additive is about a physics-based artificial intelligence engine, which adapts the way parts subject to warp are cut so that it is less likely to develop the type of mismatch during printing that makes it unfit for purpose.

By doing so, the company says its technology enables users to better avoid printing failures, achieve a cost ratio of up to ten times greater per part, and ultimately “surge” the entire 3D printing workflow.

“In the past five years, hardware used in 3D printing has outpaced the growth of software capabilities, leaving a bottleneck for companies ready to adopt additives. [manufacturing] “At Helio, our goal is to reduce the gap between software and hardware and increase the production and reliability of 3D-printed parts in production,” said David Hartmann, CEO of Helio Additive.

Helio Additive’s New AI Engine

According to Helio Additive, on average one in six 3D prints fail and have a “scrap rate” of over 80%, so their costs are “too high” compared to those of mainstream manufacturing. Furthermore, additive manufacturing adopters intending to use the technology for serial production applications often require quality assurance, something the company says is currently lacking in the sector.

In an effort to help these manufacturers achieve greater certainty, the company has developed a new artificial intelligence engine, capable of splitting 3D models into single pixels. Once this is done, the software plots the stress relaxation and thermal history for each of these pixels, before using the resulting data to adapt the way the parts are sliced, avoiding malfunctions caused by thermal changes during printing.

“New generation printers and materials have extremely powerful performance envelopes, yet print at approximately one-fifth of their maximum speed,” explains Helio Additive. “At the same time, engineers struggle with repeatability and prints fail up to five times, before getting a proper printout. Helio’s physics-based software uses machine learning and physics simulation to improve the repeatability of printed parts by linking the printing process to the desired results.”

Although the Helio Additive acknowledges that the way the hot end of the system affects prints as they pass through can be different, with polymers like PLA not experiencing much temperature change, it highlights how the higher thermal modulus of materials such as PC and PA can cause Sometimes they have to face quality issues when exposed to short bursts of heat.

Using its platform, the company believes that users are not only standing up to improving layer adhesion and engineering compliance of these parts, but providing their machines with a “brain” that improves the process. In fact, while the company is still in the early stages of rolling out the software, it expects that in the future, this “brain” can be used to help more new adopters enter serial production.

Expansion of the 3D printing industry

Founded in Changshu in 2020, Helio Additive has embarked on a journey to build and deploy its core technology within manufacturing settings. In the time, the company assembled a team with a solid mix of academic and sector experience, including former Covestro man David Hartmann, and its CEOs Zhenqing Li and Priyesh Patel, who hail from Ohio State and UCL respectively.

Currently a team of just ten people, Helio Additive is now beginning to expand its commercial and technology teams, and is said to be actively recruiting engineers, data scientists and programmers in both Changshu and Shanghai to aid in its continued expansion.

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Another way the company is seeking to gain traction in the 3D printing sector is through industrial partnerships, and it recently announced this collaboration with Amesos as well as one of its investors, Polymaker. Working alongside the two companies, Helio Additive is set to help them refine a new approach to high-speed 3D printing announced earlier this year.

Based on Amesos’ Blade 1 system and custom polymer materials, the companies say their ‘FFFF 2.0’ methodology will address a number of flaws associated with normal FFF 3D printing, particularly those around productivity.

Aside from the research and development work it conducts as part of the project, Helio Additive is also working on a standalone version of its software, which it intends to bring to market. So far, there is no confirmed alpha release date for the platform, but it is expected to launch sometime later this year, and the company is actively looking for partners to test its capabilities.

David Hartmann, CEO of Helio Additive. Image via Helio added.

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