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Digitization and robotics for flexible manufacturing and individualization
Creative Robotics (CR), a research unit within the University for Art and Design Linz, Austria, study robotics as an interface between the digital and the physical world. CR works with robotic arms and focus their research on new robot applications leading to flexible production and individualization rather than mass production and classic automation. Creative Robotics chooses to work primarily with small companies wishing to implement their existing process knowledge about robots. To that end, this approach will not only result in gain efficiency, but will also create entirely new products. Their interdisciplinary team of architects, designers, 3D artists and engineers strives to think outside the box of classic automation and find new innovative solutions. The CR laboratory is located in the 4000 m² industrial innovation workshop Grand Garage. The purpose of this collaboration is the open threshold-free transfer of knowledge of robotics methods for schoolchildren, students, start-ups and companies.
The Creaform ACADEMIA 3D scanner is an educational suite program that goes beyond delivering simple didactic tools. This 3D scanner, specially developed for the education sector, is a complete didactic solution for future-oriented teachers and researchers who use the latest industrial technologies to teach and research innovatively, and who wants to introduce their students to state-of-the-art technologies. Students will learn the benefits of handheld 3D scanners and their use in real life applications such as reverse engineering, industrial design and quality control.
Here are just a few of many various projects for which the ACADEMIA 3D scanner was used at Creative Robotics:
Customized soccer ball with 3D scanning, in collaboration with BallDesigner:
BallDesigner sells customizable soccer balls, which are individually manufactured with a short lead time. The objective of the research project was to label the balls directly on site. To make this happen, it was necessary to scan some soccer balls in order to feel for the material tolerances that occurred and to be able to compensate them with the robot.
Halloween installation for KUKA robots CEE:
A robot installation was developed for KUKA for Halloween during which customers were able to design their own pumpkin designs on a 2D tablet at an event. The robot then applied the design directly to a pumpkin. In this case, it was also necessary to scan the pumpkin in advance so that the individual shape of each pumpkin could be taken into account.
Quality control from SPIF:
Nicole Hübscher is a designer and has developed a breakfast tray based on “Single-Point Incremental Forming.” A sheet of aluminum is gradually deformed by pressure by the robot without heating it. As the metal deforms not only plastically but also elastically, the Creaform ACADEMIA 3D scanner was used to compare the CAD target model with the actual status so that the metal can be reworked on site if necessary.
Johannes Braumann, the director of University for Art and Design Linz, summarizes: “It was impressive to see how students, with no previous experience in 3D scanning, were able to work with the ACADEMIA scanner and the VXelements software on their own after just a few minutes of instructions. The ratio of accuracy and performance is better than the one of comparable structured white light scanners within the same budget range and suitable for most of our applications. In addition to being a valuable tool for research projects, the ACADEMIA scanner provided an excellent starting point for our students to gain experience with 3D scanning technology.”