ADAXIS collaborates with STILRIDE to incorporate 3D printing in the industrial-origami manufacturing arsenal

Swedish startup STILRIDE, known for its origami-inspired technique to electromobility design and manufacturing, is collaborating with French-Swedish robotics firm ADAXIS to add 3D printing functionalities to its sustainable manufacturing technology suite.

STILRIDE has had to rely on third-party suppliers for a multitude of constituent parts for the Sport Utility Scooter One’s (SUS1) early prototypes, like fenders, side covers, and hinges. These are small and complex parts that STILRIDE’s engineers are unable to create with STILFOLD. Because of the partnership deal with ADAXIS, STILRIDE will be capable of producing a multitude of these complicated steel components employing additive manufacturing.

“We’re excited to partner with STILRIDE to supercharge their origami-inspired manufacturing technology with 3D printing capabilities, and enable them to maximize the potential for robotic automation to speed up and simplify the way they manufacture,” said Emil Johansson, co-founder at ADAXIS.

“We’re excited to be working with fellow Swedish tech innovators ADAXIS to enhance our sustainable manufacturing technology offering. The team at ADAXIS has a huge amount of knowledge and experience in robotics and optimizing robotic construction, so it’s great to have them on board to strengthen the capabilities of our tech. Not only will their technology improve the sustainability, speed, and cost-efficiency of producing the SUS1, but it will also help us reach our ultimate goal of rolling out a fully distributed production model where the construction of our products can be fully automated, powered by robotics technology,” said Jonas Nvyang, CEO and co-founder at STILRIDE.

STILRIDE's robotic arm. Image via STILRIDE.
STILRIDE’s robotic arm. Image via STILRIDE.

What does ADAXIS’ and STILRIDE’s unique approach encompass?

The STILFOLD technology developed by STILRIDE includes the usage of robotic arms to bend steel over curves to shape light and solid new structures with few constituent parts. The technology is now being employed to construct the chassis of the SUS1, a sustainable steel electric motorcycle that uses 70% fewer parts than conventional plastic models. Engineers can use ADAXIS software to program a robotic arm to rapidly 3D print large and intricate steel, plastic, composite, and concrete components while drastically reducing costs and wastage. Damaged parts can be effectively fixed with the same technology.

The technology will help streamline the manufacturing process for STILRIDE’s first e-motorbike, adding extra robot-powered manufacturing functionalities in-house and enhancing each bike’s material effectiveness. The collaboration also adds potentially powerful additive manufacturing capacities to STILRIDE’s current suite of manufacturing techniques, known as STILFOLD, that will ultimately be accessible to manufacturers and designers who want to license it to build their own work.

“Using robotization we can push the limits of what can be manufactured using 3D technology, both in terms of size and shape. The challenge is that programming robots for 3D are significantly more advanced and complex than for normal welding jobs. Our goal is to speed up the manufacturing process and make it more intuitive, even when it comes to really complex projects so that everyone can benefit from this technology,” added Johansson.

Furthermore, Polestar is using STILFOLD technology to create the world’s first carbon-neutral car, and the Swedish space innovation agency I.S.A.A.C. is investigating how curve folding could be employed in space construction.

Origami-inspired 3D printing

Previously, Georgia Tech received two 2022 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) awards totaling approximately $14 million from the US Department of Defense (DoD). One of these projects, titled Programming Multistable Origami and Kirigami Structures via Topological Design, investigated how concepts from the art of paper folding can be combined with 3D printing to create lightweight, flexible structures that can change shape. The goal was to create structures that can transform between a wide range of steady geometries in order to carry out specific actions or adjust to changing environmental conditions. The findings were anticipated to have various applications from 3D printed multifunctional robotics to morphing bridges and collapsible radiofrequency parts like antennae.

Engineers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) created a robotic device capable of gripping a variety of objects using 3D printing. The study’s results were published in the paper, A Vacuum-driven Origami “Magic-ball” Soft Gripper. Co-author of the paper and Professor at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Robert Wood, said, “One of the key features of this approach to manipulator construction is its simplicity.”

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Feature image shows STILRIDE SUS1 Fender. Image via STILRIDE.