Canvas Category Machinery : Additive Manufacturing : 3D Printer
Inkbit is an additive manufacturing company located in Medford, Massachusetts. Our Inkbit Vista™ system is designed for mass production of end-use polymer 3D printed parts. We have incorporated a novel technology called Vision-Controlled Jetting (VCJ) that delivers high-resolution print capability enabling users to print parts with dimensional accuracy and precision at high volume.
Exponential Industry’s thoughts on CB Insights’ Advanced Manufacturing 50. Data lakes drive MLOps into manufacturing processes. 3D printing companies continue to merge.
This 3D printer can watch itself fabricate objects
Researchers from MIT, the MIT spinout Inkbit, and ETH Zurich have developed a new 3D inkjet printing system that works with a much wider range of materials. Their printer utilizes computer vision to automatically scan the 3D printing surface and adjust the amount of resin each nozzle deposits in real-time to ensure no areas have too much or too little material.
Since it does not require mechanical parts to smooth the resin, this contactless system works with materials that cure more slowly than the acrylates which are traditionally used in 3D printing. Some slower-curing material chemistries can offer improved performance over acrylates, such as greater elasticity, durability, or longevity.
In addition, the automatic system makes adjustments without stopping or slowing the printing process, making this production-grade printer about 660 times faster than a comparable 3D inkjet printing system.
📦 The chore of packing just got faster and easier
A team of researchers from MIT and Inkbit (an MIT spinout company based in Medford, Massachusetts), headed by Wojciech Matusik, an MIT professor and Inkbit co-founder, is presenting this technique, which they call “dense, interlocking-free and Scalable Spectral Packing,” or SSP.
The first step in SSP is to work out an ordering of solid 3D objects for filling a fixed container. One possible approach, for example, is start with the largest objects and end with the smallest. The next step is to place each object into the container. To facilitate this process, the container is “voxelized,” meaning that it is represented by a 3D grid composed of tiny cubes or voxels, each of which may be just a cubic millimeter in size. The grid shows which parts of the container — or which voxels — are already filled and which are vacant.
Figuring out the best placements for each and every object as the container fills up obviously requires a lot of calculations. But the team employed a mathematical technique, the fast Fourier transform (FFT), which had never been applied to the packing problem before. By using FFT, the problems of minimizing voxel overlap and minimizing gaps for all voxels in the container can be solved through a relatively limited set of calculations, such as simple multiplications, as opposed to the impractical alternative of testing out all possible locations for the objects to be positioned inside. And that makes packing faster by several orders of magnitude.
The new funding will expand production of the Inkbit Vista in the U.S. and beyond
Inkbit, the company that built the first 3D printing system driven by vision-based feedback control, today announced the closing of $30M in its Series B round of financing. The new funding, led by Phoenix Venture Partners LLC (PVP), will boost production of the company’s additive manufacturing system, Inkbit Vista, and grow the commercial team to support expansion into the APAC and EMEA regions.
Since spinning out of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT in 2017, Inkbit has raised a total of $45M in equity investments from investors such as Stratasys, DSM Venturing, Ocado, 3M, IMA and Saint-Gobain.