Quantica’s Multi-Material 3D Printing System to be Equipped with AI-based Software MultiSlice

Advanced additive manufacturing company Quantica, announces a supporting software, MultiSlice, developed by Charles University spin-off Additive Appearance, that enables the reliable simulation of 3D models for multi-material 3D printing.

[BERLIN, December 7, 2023] – Quantica’s transformative NovoJet printhead technology, the core of the NovoJet OPEN, recently unveiled at Formnext 2023, is poised to redefine 2D and 3D inkjet printing by enabling the use of functional materials such as durable, flexible, or conductive materials  - a capability unparalleled by any other inkjet printhead on the market.

With the NovoJet OPEN, it is possible to combine functional materials, on a voxel level, to produce final parts in a single printing process. For this reason, Berlin-based Quantica has collaborated with Additive Appearance, a Charles University spin-off company, to offer a software solution that addresses the challenge of seamlessly combining multiple materials, a critical aspect when designing for any application with specific requirements on properties. Offering a reliable simulation of 3D models for printing, the software provides a straightforward pathway to accurately manufacture multi-material end products.

MultiSlice: From shape to appearance and function

The build management and slicing software named MultiSlice, combined with the NovoJet OPEN printing system, allows users to produce objects that go beyond mere shape replication. Additionally, this includes replicating both appearance and function. Harnessing the potential of simulations and drawing on the distinctive expertise of Computer Graphics researchers at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University, the software utilizes advanced algorithms to predict the appearance of a 3D model with a high level of accuracy. 

MultiSlice will be introduced with the first NovoJet OPEN systems released in Q1 2024. The two teams plan to develop the technology in multiple iterations towards different levels of sophistication with regards to the control of physical properties on a voxel level. These will include mechanical properties, like flexibility and conductivity, and appearance properties, like color, and the ability to transition between them.

Bringing years of experience from additive manufacturing giants HP and Stratasys, Quantica’s Head of Product Management, Grace Chang, emphasizes, “Both our companies, embodying the agility of startups, are uniting to redefine the potential of 3D material jetting. In a landscape where functional, multi-material 3D printing lacks adequate software, we are excited to collaborate with a team that is leveraging modern approaches to developing complex software. Our collaborative goal is to leverage these advancements, making functional, multi-material 3D printing more accessible, efficient, and adaptable.”

Leveraging the potential of artificial intelligence, and the technology it is based upon, differentiable programming, the team at Additive Appearance has created novel approaches to enduring problems in the printing industry such as halftoning and print preview. Following years of academic research, they have published multiple scientific papers in top-tier journals. One publication is presenting an approximative but faster print preview using a neural network. In concurrent work, a halftoning method based on differentiable programming is described.

“With the trend in 3D printing going to more and more printheads, existing software is starting to limit the hardware’s potential. The problem of which material to put in which voxel is getting increasingly difficult. This is why a radically new approach based on cutting-edge research and modern software technologies, such as differentiable computation and machine learning, is required to drive the printers of the future. We both share this realization and are looking to create a synergy of software and hardware that unlocks many new possibilities in the material-jetting domain.” says Tobias Rittig, Ph.D., Additive Appearance’s Chief Technology Officer.

This latest news comes after Quantica’s premiere of the NovoJet OPEN system and the start of a Beta Program for the system at Formnext 2023 with select partners such as Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA and REHAU Industries SE & Co KG, as part of the REHAU Group, a global leader in polymer solutions. For Quantica, this past year showed growth and expansion: In early 2023, Quantica had successfully secured a EUR 14 million series A funding round and forged a strategic printhead partnership with industry leader Xaar. 

About Quantica GmbHQuantica, headquartered in Berlin with teams in Barcelona and Cambridge (UK), is at the forefront of advanced additive manufacturing. Their proprietary NovoJet technology transforms high viscosity materials into multi-material end-use parts, delivering high-performance prints with exceptional properties in a single process. Collaborating with industry partners like Xaar, Fraunhofer, and Rehau they are actively exploring 2D and 3D applications in dental, healthcare, electronics, and research and development. The first NovoJet-equipped open printers for R&D purposes are scheduled to be delivered in Q1 2024.

For more information about the NovoJet OPEN system and MultiSlice visit: www.q3d.io and www.q3d.io/multislice

About Additive Appearance s.r.o.

Additive Appearance s.r.o. is a young company focused on developing next-generation 3D printing software in Prague, Czech Republic. Backed by Charles University through its technology transfer center CUIP, the university spin-off is building a novel technology stack for multi-material and color 3D printing. Their unique expertise lies in physically-accurate light simulations, high-performance software and mathematical optimization which stems from years of research in the field of Computer Graphics. The goal is to connect printer manufacturers, material suppliers and technology developers to be able to fabricate digital objects including shape, look and function.

For more info about Additive Appearance and CUIP visit: www.appearan.cz and  www.cuip.cz 

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