Hyphen, the most comprehensive rapid prototyping and environmental testing facility open to the public in North America, has announced a partnership with the University of Guelph, one of Canada’s top universities. The partnership will provide Hyphen with access to the equipment, applications, and research at the university’s Digital Haptic Lab (DHL), a design and prototyping facility that focuses on the use of haptic devices which enable physical manipulation of digital information.
In exchange for the lab’s technology, researchers and students from the university will have access to Hyphen’s additive manufacturing technology and expertise at significantly-reduced pricing. This will make 3D printing and environmental testing processes more accessible for research projects and will support even further innovation, with a focus on bringing together art and technology.
The partnership is the latest to be cultivated by Hyphen with local educational institutions as the company looks to broaden the awareness of additive manufacturing among students and raise the profile of Canadian capabilities within the additive manufacturing industry at large. In addition to the use of the DHL, Hyphen’s partnership with the university also includes the placement of an interactive product shelf at the entrance to the DHL. Made of all printed parts, the shelf design will tell the story about the breadth of Hyphen’s technical and creative expertise, as well as the philosophy of innovation that characterizes how they approach each of their client’s projects.
“The DHL is predicated on collaboration and innovation – on top of Hyphen’s technical expertise, this is what stood out to us about them. Hyphen has an incredibly collaborative spirit and goodwill in sharing its resources with our lab. It’s a rare commodity among private sector companies,” said Christian Giroux, lead researcher at the DHL. “We’re very happy and excited about this partnership and what we’ll be able to achieve using Hyphen’s additive manufacturing processes to develop working prototypes and find solutions to our researchers’ design problems.”
The applications for Hyphen’s capabilities are endless. The Hyphen team can produce components with complex designs and intricate detail affordably and, in some cases, with similar functionality and finishing as production parts, enabling speed-to-market by reducing the design life cycle of a part. Designers and manufacturers can review prototypes of a design and make adjustments quickly and cost-effectively, contributing to a higher-quality end result.
Exploring 3D printing’s multiple uses
“The use of 3D printing is applicable across all of the research streams we work with at the university, including art, engineering, robotics, biology, horticulture, and aerospace,” said John Phillips, Design Engineer and Manager of the DHL. “Typically, you use the tools you have at your disposal to find solutions to design problems. With our new partnership with Hyphen, we now have access to a greater set of tools so we will be able to offer a greater variety of solutions to our researchers. This will dramatically change the way we approach and tackle problems and opens up new possibilities for how we combine the use of 3D printing with haptic technology.”
“Advances in rapid prototyping and 3D printing are opening up new ways of thinking and doing things within the manufacturing industry worldwide. People are starting to see the significant benefits, including speed and efficiency, of taking a computer generated model and turning it into a physical object as part of the design and review process,” said Hyphen Managing Director Mark Barfoot. “Our partnership with the University of Guelph will allow us to explore new applications for additive manufacturing within industries such as the arts, agriculture, veterinary and health care, while supporting research work through the university. This is a great way for Hyphen to educate others on the benefits of additive manufacturing, and to demonstrate the depth of Canadian knowledge and expertise within the additive manufacturing industry. We are excited to work with arts, science and engineering teams through this partnership and look forward to pushing the boundaries of rapid prototyping together.
In addition to educational institutions, Hyphen also actively seeks out partnerships with large and small companies to further stimulate innovation and advances in industries that are progressively embracing the advantages of rapid prototyping.