Robotic arm Atropos able to 3D print basalt fiber as well as other continuous fibers has got into top three international James Dyson Award runners up.
The robotic arm designed by the Italian company was recognized the most interesting project among 20 others and shortlisted for the final.
Atropos is the first 6-axis robotic arm, one of a kind, able to 3D print continuous fiber composites, using thermosetting resins. The technology allows the fast creation of high performance 3D complex-shaped objects starting from a CAD file. Various types of continuous fibers and several thermosetting resins can be used for 3D printing process.
To print complex-shaped objects Atropos makes it possible to place reinforcement only along optimal directions and in the optimal concentration to achieve the best constructive solution. It is also possible to change the relative amount of fibers and matrix during the printing process and combine different fibers to obtain hybrid materials.
Sir James Dyson, a developer of a revolutionary vacuum cleaner Dyson, hand-picks the finalists. The winner is awarded $30 000 and runners up $5000.
It is not the only recognition received by the Italian developers. In spring 2017 robotic arm Atropos won JEC Innovation Award. This current year another Italy-based company, GS4C srl, became a finalist in this the most prestigious composites show with a project of eco-yacht Loop650 created with the use of basalt fiber.