Ongoing Projects

© Jen Squires

PROTEA – Prostheses and Medical Aids with Enhanced User Acceptance through 3D-Printing and Functionalization 

Women are less likely to be equipped with a prosthesis than amputee men. When women are equipped with a prosthesis, prosthesis fitting fails more often and prostheses are less likely to be accepted and used. PROTEA aims to improve the accuracy of fit and acceptance of prostheses and thus contribute to closing the existing gender and diversity gap. Key innovations here are a digital manufacturing process, innovations in materials and structure through 3D printing of the outer socket as well as a soft body with integrated sensor technology. Read more on the project website.

Nanogoes3D – Nanomaterials and Additive Fabrication of Adaptive Structures for Smart Human Device Interfaces

Nanogoes3D combines different disciplines for the development of 3D-printed soles for individualized shoes in the sports sector. The combination of nanomaterials and 3D printing technology allows in achieving flexible, lightweight, cost-effective smart shoe insole with antibacterial properties. The research is categorized into three areas: a) development of suitable nanomaterials for sensor and antibacterial properties; b) Design and development of 3D insoles with excellent physical and mechanical properties; c) Development 3D printed smart insole demonstrator by establishing the optimal user-interfacing concept based on FEM simulations.

AMASE – Additively Manufactured Sensorized Prosthetic Liner Systems 

The aim of AMASE is to create a unique and imperceptible measurement system that is compatible with existing prostheses, helps avoiding medical complications, aids the prosthetist in finding the best possible fit, provides the physical rehabilitation professionals with means to optimize the rehabilitation process, improves the gait profile, increases the comfort for the amputee and thus increases the overall acceptance. This will be accomplished by creating an additively manufactured sensorized prosthetic liner systems, which includes arrays of novel flexible pressure and force sensors together with integrated off-the-shelf temperature and humidity sensors and interconnected by flexible and stretchable electrodes.

iLEAD – Lightweight Functional and Hybrid 3D-Printing for Medical Assistive Devices 

In this project, we aim to fill the gaps in the current 3D-printing technology to fabricate medical assistive devices with significant user benefit, well-being and availability. We develop methods to enable hybrid material and (spatial) full 3D-printing of optimized lightweight lattice structures. Additional functionality is added by embedding sensor and actuator concepts during the design process. The technological developments are accompanied by a continuous user-centered-design process to fabricate devices which meet user needs. Read more on the project website.

ADPilot – ADMiRE Pilot Line: 3D printing of lightweight components made of fiber composite materials in a robot-based production cell

Continuous fiber composites are ideal for lightweight applications due to their high strength and low specific weight. One of the biggest challenges in industrial use is the labour-intensive manufacturing process, which leads to long production times and high unit costs. One approach to resource optimization is the development of fully automated processes. In the ADMiRE Pilot Line project, 3D printing technology for continuous fiber composites will be set up and integrated into a robot-supported manufacturing concept.

Smarter Leichtbau 4.1 (Smarter Lightweight Construction 4.1)

Lightweight construction in all applications is a necessary aspect to save resources. It enables savings in operation due to lower weight, especially in constructions that are moved in some way. The use of renewable raw materials, especially reinforcing fibres, enables the use of regional raw materials and regional production. The use of sensor technology enables an interface to the digital world and also contributes to further resource savings, as materials can be optimally utilised. The independent EFRE application Smarter Lightweight Construction 4.1 builds on these key points and the results already achieved, and represents a significant new step in the work and cooperation. Read more on the project website.

ROSE – Robust Tactile Sensing For Differentiated Robot Haptics

The goal of the research project ROSE is a multimodal, large-area, fully stretchable tactile sensor based on a piezocapacitive principle integrated into soft robotic fingers with mechanical properties optimized based on the material properties. We work on novel gripper and other soft devices design concepts with enhanced sensing and consequently also manipulation capabilities. We further want to pave the way towards an integration strategy of sensors into soft devices in general where we see important future applications in healthcare and medicine such as, e.g., the development of sensorized phantoms. Read more on the project website.

© Ottobock

exoATwork – Exoskeletons for Manual Workstations

Manufacturing companies are facing various challenges. The demographic change, the increased working life, the shortage of skilled workers and the product individualization increase the costs. Therefore, the physical support of employees through exoskeletons is becoming increasingly important. The aim of the exoATwork innovation camp is to impart research-oriented knowledge and concrete recommendations for ergonomic and sustainable design of manual workplaces to employees of SMEs and companies in all manufacturing sectors by means of lectures, workshops and practical case studies. Read more in the project’s work program.

Completed Projects

ASAM – Application-specific AM technology: Interreg network for education and rapid prototyping

The two high-tech locations of the Ljubljana Region and the Villach Technology Park both strive for visibility on a supra-regional and European level. Due to the geographical proximity, cooperation between the two regions would be of great advantage in order to increase the number of players (reaching critical mass). There is an opportunity in the area of AM (Additive Manufacturing) technology. The overall project objective is to strengthen cross-border competition, research and innovation by establishing a joint AM technology platform. Read more on the project website.

© Trastic

trastic – Innovation Voucher

The Innovation Voucher is a funding instrument of FFG designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Austria to start ongoing research and innovation activities. Within the project, the company trastic, which deals with the production of panels (semi-finished products) as a starting material for the furniture industry, was supported in process development. For the production of decorative panels and furniture made of recycled plastic, we researched optimal parameters for the manufacturing process. Link to project partner.

MMO-3D – Innovative 3D printing for high-performance fiber composites

The focus of MMO-3D is the adaptation of a 6-axis robot with an injection moulding technology and a fibre manipulator. This technology enables the production of even geometrically complex products with ultra-high-strength lightweight materials for applications in e-mobility and medical technology. The project thus contributes to the promotion of cross-border cooperation to strengthen research and technological development, competitiveness and innovation. In the long term, all participating project partners from science and industry will benefit from the mutual exchange of knowledge and technology transfer from mechanical engineering and robotics. Read more on the project website.

REHA 2030 – A new age of rehabilitation has begun

The focus will be on stroke patients with hand-finger mobility disorders. In iterative development loops, a service model for tele-rehabilitation will be designed with the involvement of various stakeholders: Patients, clinics, therapy centres and therapists, providers of ICT solutions and rehabilitation robotics, insurance companies and other companies in the field of telemedical care. On the other hand, a robotic therapy device for playful, technology-supported therapy is being developed with the involvement of patients and therapists. Read more on the project website.

Smarter Leichtbau 4.0 (Smarter Lightweight Construction 4.0)

Due to their property profile, fibre-reinforced plastic composites (FRP) have established themselves as materials for a wide range of lightweight and structural applications. Their high specific strength and specific stiffness combined with low density allow stable components and component structures with low weight. In addition to weight reduction, motives such as energy and resource efficiency, as well as the impact on people and the environment, are playing an ever-increasing role in the selection of suitable materials. Reasons for this are, for example, the reduction of CO2 emissions, the fulfilment of legal requirements or the use of domestic, available raw materials. Natural fibre-reinforced plastics (NFRPs), which have increasingly become the focus of materials research in recent years, offer an ideal combination of high material performance and ecological compatibility. Read more on the project website.

Funding Partners