The foam industry has been slow to adopt 3D printing, however this is changing. To produce parts that are more comfortable, safer, lighter and can be customized for each customer, this sector is turning to additive manufacturing. Having identified this need, and to simplify bringing foam-to-market, EOS is launching its Digital Foam program – a hub created by EOS to connect CAD, materials, part qualification and additive manufacturing.
In other words, rather than customers needing to solve these variables by themselves, Digital Foam will take care of this. It will give customers a fast-track to producing 3D printed protective headgear, individualized orthotics, or performance footwear, among dozens of other applications. In fact, during the last 80 years the foam industry has not evolved too much. Foam is used in many products, from comfort foam, which you’ll find in insoles or protective foam, which you’ll find in headgear, applications are wide-ranging. Foam is considered to be directly related to performance. Historically, the process is far from easy, it requires complex engineering and long cycle times to fully unlock its value.
Using highly flexible polymer materials, like TPU or PEBA, 3D printing foam allows unprecedented fine-tuning of each voxel for superior comfort, safety, and performance characteristics. “The level of engineering required to produce, say, a safer football helmet is massive, but the benefits are equally massive for end users,” said Dr. Greg Hayes, senior vice president of applied engineering at EOS North America. “The Digital Foam program was designed to make those huge improvements much easier and less time-consuming for organizations.”
The Digital Foam platform will also be powered by nTopology’s powerful engineering software. It will help simplify engineering design, analysis and preparation processes. This is an essential step according to EOS in order to provide solutions with foam 3D printing that are not only safer, but also lighter and more comfortable.
Aetrex, one of the global leaders of foot-scanning technology, orthotics, and comfort footwear, is already using the Digital Foam program from EOS. The company is using the platform to integrate 3D printed foam to make customizable products for its customers. By using their scanning system and identifying pressure points, they can make 3D printed orthotics that perfectly match each individual’s foot. Find more information HERE.
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