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Development of hardware and software tools compatible with desktop 3D printers aiming for customized drugs manufacture

Grant number: 22/01091-9
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: September 01, 2022 - May 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Design
Principal Investigator:Jose Luis Davila Sanchez
Grantee:Jose Luis Davila Sanchez
Host Company:593iCAN Soluções em Impressão 3D Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de equipamentos e aparelhos elétricos não especificados anteriormente
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: Campinas
Associated grant(s):23/08764-1 - Hardware and software for 3D printing of personalized drugs, AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):23/02815-3 - Development of hardware and software tools compatible with desktop 3D printers aiming for customized drugs manufacture, BP.PIPE
22/11818-3 - Algorithms and graphical user interface development and implementation for compiling g-code for drugs 3D printing, BP.TT


Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, popularly known as 3D printing, are one of the pillars of Industry 4.0; they have transformed the way products are manufactured. Different areas of research and industry sectors have benefited significantly from the use of AM. Among the main advantages of this technology, we have the possibility of manufacturing complex geometries, the efficient use of different types of materials, customization, repeatability, among others. This project proposes the development of hardware and software tools compatible with desktop 3D printers, with the main focus on the manufacture of customized drugs by material extrusion AM. The use of printheads for gels and pellets creates the possibility of manufacturing drug tablets with a modified release, complex geometries, and personalized dosage, which benefits the pharmaceutical sector, especially if neglected diseases and pediatric applications are considered. For these cases, desktop 3D printers can be designed and marketed as point-of-care devices. Then, personalized drugs or drugs with specific characteristics can be manufactured where required. In this context, it is important to note that open-source desktop 3D printers can be modified for this kind of application. However, software tools for process control are required. This project is based on the development of two routes. The first seeks to obtain printheads and 3D printer prototypes for the pharmaceutical sector. The second is focused on developing and implementing algorithms that make it possible to compile g-code suitable for the printing process. The synergy between hardware and software for compiling g-code will allow a controlled process with high repeatability, flexibility, and quality printing. Moreover, it enables the printing of samples in series and the production of small batches. As a result, a proof of concept will be obtained to validate the process for its subsequent scalability, considering that in the technical-scientific feasibility phase, all processes will be standardized to create a 3D printer production line. Additionally, it is important to highlight that this technology can cover other applications, including tissue bioprinting, functional materials, and food printing. All this directly contributes to the commercial potential of the products resulting from this project, which will allow the company to become competitive and expand applications in future stages. (AU)

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