“My day to day work as a Project Engineer consists of a wide variety of activities on high-value manufacturing related projects. As part of Symbionica project I have been working on the designs of the parametric CAD components of prosthesis and envisioning how prosthetics could be manufactured in the future by utilising the new capabilities of the Symbionica machine.”
Tell us more about…The University of Sheffield!
The University of Sheffield is not only delivering a great education for the students but is also actively participating in the research and knowledge transfer between academics and the industry. The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing is a dedicated department created solely for this purpose. The industry partners have an active role in deciding on the activities undertaken by the dedicated research groups within the AMRC with Boeing. The work on the Symbionica project is undertaken by the Design & Prototyping Group in close collaboration with the Medical AMRC. We work on high-value projects and developments covering all of the design process starting from ideas and brainstorming and ending with fully functional pre-production prototypes.
What kind of activity have you carried on during the first 12 months of the project?
The project started with envisioning a world full of possibilities and the future of prosthetic manufacturing made possible with the Symbionica machine. It became clear early on that there will be opportunities to optimise not only the prosthetics but also the process of how they are tailored for a specific patient. A set of generic parametric CAD models of prosthetics were created which were designed for manufacture using the Symbionica machine.
Which are the benefit that your institution expects from the participation to the Symbionica project?
It is always a great experience to work on game changing solutions for the industry. The Symbionica project will enhance the international collaboration and the future prospects of related work for us. Visiting the manufacturing facilities of the other partners of the consortium has been a very interesting experience. The innovations of the Symbionica project will also create a great exposure when disseminating the results of our work.
To which extent the Symbionica machine impacts on the design of components for biomedical applications?
The most significant change brought by the Symbionica machine is the fine customisation of the prosthetics. The time of compromise is over as every component can be tailored to a perfect fit for the individual patient. The appropriate parameters can be any dimensional value within the pre-set dimensional range. This is achieved by the strategic and parametric design for manufacture of the generic components.
Valdis Krumins – University of Sheffield