Design Engineering
Showcase

MX3D

Student
David Prior Hope
Team
R&D & Software
Supervisor
Dr Stephen Green
Role
R&D Design Engineer Intern
Sector
Industrial Manufacturing

MX3D is a spinoff from the Joris Laarman Labs, an experimental Design Lab based in Amsterdam. MX3D is the first company to bring large scale metal 3D printing to market. Their moon-shot project of creating the world's first metal 3D printed bridge was a fantastic showcase of WAAM technology and has propelled MX3D into the marketplace.

My placement experience was positive, it was an exciting opportunity to improve my engineering and programming skills amongst a team of like-minded thinkers. The main value I offered as a Design Engineer was my ability to learn quickly, work independently and problem solve.

 — MX3D

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

Working at MX3D has involved using a series of Design Engineering thinking and skills. Working as a R&D Design Engineer Intern meant there was the opportunity to work on a broad range of assignments, varying from parametric design, software development, metal work to programming.

MX3D operates with the relatively novel technology WAAM (Wire and Arc Additive Manufacture), this technology has numerous advantages over powder based metal 3D printing (Selective Laser Melting, SLM) – WAAM is faster, cheaper, more efficient, and can print much bigger geometries than other metal 3D printing methods. Undoubtedly this technology has attracted numerous industries, including construction + architecture, maritime, heavy industrial, etc… with multiple applications such as: optimised topologies, legacy parts, rapid prototyping, spare parts, etc… MX3D is embracing the ability of additive manufacturing to create specific parts by developing their own software, MetalXL for clients to use as an end-to-end WAAM solution. This would allow clients with industrial robot and welding machine to 3D print whatever is required locally.

My ability to quickly problem solve, work autonomously and learn fast were most valuable for my internship. My additive manufacture and industrial design electives offered the most relevant knowledge for this internship. I used knowledge of slicing, layer adhesion, design for additive manufacture, CAD and general industry knowledge. I also used theoretical robotics knowledge and programming skills.

I learnt a significant amount about hands-on robotics which unfortunately was not present in the Robotics module on Design Engineering. I also learnt numerous methods of controlling robots and improved significantly my parametric design skills. I learnt a lot about the industry.

 — MX3D
MX3D Robot Arm (Credit: MX3D + Altair + ABB).
 — MX3D
Bridge Design 1 (Credit: MX3D + Joris Laarman Lab + Arup).

Role and Contributions

At MX3D I contributed in numerous areas. I applied general industry knowledge and business skills to identify opportunities; I applied CAD modelling skills to create numerous parametric designs for experimental printing; I investigated numerous 3D printing software for benchmarking purposes; I explored open source methods of prototyping experimental printing techniques; I also worked on smaller assignments including designing a mounting system and modelling for orthodox printing.

My work culminated in a series of reports, presentations and demonstrations to relay and document my findings. My work will help with developing new technology, adding features to MetalXL and understanding the competitor landscape better. I was also useful in alleviating pressure from the engineering team through working on numerous smaller assignments.

Altogether my contribution has saved the research and development, engineering, and software team time and effort whilst also proposing some technology which may be adapted or directly used by MX3D to offer additional value to their existing technology. Hopefully this technology could contribute towards generating more business and increasing the customer base.

 — MX3D
MX3D X Takenaka Structural Connector (Credits: MX3D).
 — MX3D
MX3D Printed Bridge at Dutch Design Week (Credit: MX3D, Tim Geurtjens).

Summary

Altogether working at MX3D was an enjoyable, informative, and fun experience. I learnt a lot working alongside experts in various fields in an exciting innovative start-up. I would recommend anyone interested in parametric design, software, innovation, and additive manufacture to apply for an internship at MX3D.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or want to learn more about my internship experience at MX3D.

 — MX3D
ARC BIKE I (Credit: MX3D + TU Delft).
 — MX3D
ARC BIKE II (Credit: MX3D, Adriaan de Groot).

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