In the spring of 2023, ADAXIS, a robotics software start-up invested in by EIT Manufacturing and based in France and Sweden, launched a collaboration with STILRIDE, a Swedish start-up specialising in curve-folding metal inspired by industrial origami. Upon very successful matchmaking at EIT Manufacturing’s Leading Lights 2023 event, the two companies joined forces to develop software that would enhance the origami-like process used by STILRIDE to bend and fold sheet steel.
Previously STILRIDE has had to source several component parts for its early prototypes such as hinges, fenders and side covers from external suppliers. These are small and complicated parts that STILRIDE’s engineers cannot create using their in-house technology, STILFOLD.
ADAXIS’s software enables engineers to program a robotic arm to 3D print large and complex steel, plastic, composite, and concrete parts quickly, reducing costs and material waste. Spare parts can also be printed efficiently using the same steel additive manufacturing technology.
The open innovation partnership between the two start-ups paves the way for nearshoring opportunities, allowing STILRIDE to expand its manufacturing capacity by setting up local micro-factories. One great advantage of these kinds of factories is the ability to produce on demand and to scale up and down faster in relation to orders.
By using local micro-factories, STILRIDE can now take full advantage of the benefits of this technology all the way to the country where its products are sold and used. This can reduce lead times and costs, providing a competitive edge in terms of responsiveness to manufacturing demands. Furthermore, an innovation like this has the potential to reduce the environmental footprint of manufacturing while creating plenty of jobs locally.
With its expertise in programming robots for 3D printing, ADAXIS aims to further speed up robotization, making it more intuitive, even when it comes to complex projects so that the result will be the same regardless of where in the world the final production takes place.
The technology is now used to build the chassis of a sustainable steel electric motorbike, Sport Utility Scooter One, which uses 70% fewer components than traditional plastic models.