3D printing materials company polyfabricator invested in a Chinese startup that is bringing to market a physics-based analysis software tool for slicing.
Helio Additive was founded in 2020 in Changshu, China, and believes it has the potential to “supercharge polymer and composite 3D printing” by improving price performance, reliability, and speed.
The company developed its software after recognizing the challenges of moving from prototyping to production. By leveraging its machine learning and physical simulation capabilities to link the printing process and the required results, Helio seeks to improve the repeatability of 3D printing processes.
Helio’s software works to decompose the 3D models into individual voxels to plot the stress relaxation and thermal history of each voxel. Since some materials like PC and PA have higher coefficients of thermal expansion than other polymers, the effects of the printing process on parts differ depending on the material. By helping users adapt the way they cut parts, Helio believes its physics-based engine can compensate for these effects, as well as manage warpage and improve layer adhesion.
“Over the past five years, 3D printing hardware has outpaced the growth of software capabilities, leaving a bottleneck for companies ready to adopt additive into their workflow,” commented Helio’s CEO. Additive, David Hartman. “At Helio, our goal is to reduce the gap between software and hardware and ultimately increase the yield and reliability of 3D printed parts in production.”
Helio is currently working with Polymaker and AMESOS, who announced their partnership earlier this year to co-develop fused filament manufacturing 3D printing solutions. The company intends to release an alpha software product later this year.
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