How regenHU found a robust and validated open-source com stack

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The Short Story

Few companies are able to claim a cutting-edge position the way regenHU can. The Swiss company develops 3-D bioprinting solutions for industrial and academic researchers and companies in the scientific community. regenHU is a pioneer and global leader in joining digital manufacturing and in combining bioprinting technologies to support and enable innovations in healthcare and med-tech.

The Challenge

At first glance, 3-D bioprinting may look just like any professional 3-D printing solution. However, since the printed tissue has to harbour living cells, convey nutrition and retain moisture, the complexity is simply mind-boggling. The control software is equally sophisticated, with extreme requirements for robustness. For certain communication tasks the developers looked for EtherCAT modules, but the commercially available alternatives did not meet the demands for transparency.

The Solution

In order to have full access to the code, regenHU went for open-source solutions and found what was needed at RT-Labs. Use of a validated and fully documented open-source EtherCAT stack was expected to save time and free up development resources. For implementation and integration into regenHU’s software structure, the company signed up for a three-day dedicated in-house seminar, led by an EtherCAT specialist from RT-Labs.


The Result

The main benefit of using the com stack from RT-Labs was the full transparency and the possibility of assessing the quality of the code, with no more need to work around hidden bugs. To preserve the added competence, regenHU wrote their own internal tutorial during the seminar. By acquiring a software component this way, the developers not only gained deeper understanding of the code, they also benefited from the bigger picture of how to embed the stack.

EtherCAT workshop