Spanish 3D printing service provider Dynamical 3D recently worked in collaboration with Técnicas Radio Físicas (TRF), a medical physics consultancy firm, to design and produce radioactivity sensors. The development was enabled by Carbon’s digital fabrication technology.
Based in Spain, TRF specializes in the design and implementation of medical physics projects in the healthcare and science sectors. Part of the company’s work involves manufacturing equipment for laboratories that deal with radioactive materials, also known as “hot” labs. Specifically, the company produces parts used in nuclear medicine applications, as well as for decay tank systems for liquid radioactive waste management and cyclotron projects that support the production of radiopharmaceuticals and radiotracers.
One of TRF’s projects was centered on the production of a radioactivity sensor, which could quickly be brought to market and could be produced in low volumes. To speed up the development time for the part, and to produce the part in a flexible, economical way, the Spanish firm turned to Dynamical 3D for its expertise in additive manufacturing.
As a member of the Certified Carbon Production Network, Dynamical 3D demonstrated how Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) process was well suited for the development of TRF’s radioactivity sensor. The flexible 3D printing platform enabled the partners to iterate several designs for the probe and quickly make necessary design modifications, at no additional cost.
One critical part of the project was finding the right materials. The radioactivity sensor had to be made from a tough material that was not only resistant to radioactive substances but was also up to standards similar to those of the automotive sector. Ultimately, the partners chose to work with Carbon’s EPX 82 material, a high-strength resin with long-term durability and properties comparable to glass-filled thermoplastics.
By leveraging 3D printing in the product development stage, rather than more traditional injection molding, TRF was able to develop the radioactivity sensor in a short timeframe and saw significant cost savings. According to Carbon, the Spanish company saved about 70% by using its technology to produce the sensors instead of injection molding. At this stage, Dynamical 3D has already produced 50 3D printed assemblies for TRF and is preparing to scale up production to meet demand.