Over the past five years, 3D printing has continued to shift from prototyping and small batch production to a mass customization production technology. All major industrial and non-industrial 3D printer OEMs are now striving to integrate their systems into complete end-to-end workflows. While the additive manufacturing process remains the core part of digital production, automating the end-to-end workflow goes well beyond the AM process itself.

It begins with automating and streamlining part design and optimization for AM through DfAM tools, which continues through digital warehouses and digital twins. Designs converge with automated material supply lines for material (for powders, pastes, resins or fibers) handling, as manufacturing execution software (MES) brings together and coordinates 3D printer networks and workflow stations.

Simulation and process monitoring software oversee the AM process all the way to the measurement and NDT, phases recognizing and even correcting errors via machine learning and AI. Robots remove parts from the print platform, as excess materials are recycled and reused. Automated post-processing equipment sinter, heat-treat, cure, polish and smooth surfaces until you get a final, digitally and additively manufactured part. With minimal human intervention. This is the vision. Where do we stand now?Those who build the infrastructure for the digital, additive, automated factory of tomorrow will be at the forefront of the ongoing industrial revolution and additive manufacturing systems are increasingly going to be the core elements within any credible industry 4.0 approach. In this month’s AM Focus, we will look at the latest trends in additive manufacturing automation.

  • Parts On Demand and AM-Flow collaborate on part recognition

    Parts On Demand, a 3D printing service provider specializing in industrial, medical, and orthopedic applications, and AM-Flow, the specialist in end-to-end workflow automation for the additive manufacturing industry, have entered a partnership to optimize the identification and sorting of custom series products with minimal deviations and/or unique printed codes. Automated…

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  • Optomec and Acme Manufacturing showcase industry-first, fully automated, work cell for the repair of aircraft engines.

    Optomec and Acme Manufacturing showcase industry-first work cell

    Optomec Inc., a leader in metal additive manufacturing solutions, and Acme Manufacturing, a global leader in robotic material removal systems, are set to showcase an industry-first, fully automated work cell, initially optimized for repairing aviation compressor blades made of titanium. The turnkey work cell is the product of a two-year…

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  • 3dpbm Pulse Podcast Ep. 10: paperless production with AM

    Today’s episode brings together two companies that represent at the same time, the history and the future of additive manufacturing: the AM workflow automation experts at AM Flow and the rapidly growing US-based AM service provider Midwest Prototyping. Midwest Prototyping started in 2001 with the purchase of a desk and…

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  • First 20 commercial VLM systems to be shipped by BCN3D in Spring 2023. These elite customers will be the first to acquire these systems.

    First 20 VLM printers to be shipped by BCN3D in Spring 2023

    Earlier this year, BCN3D Technologies announced that its strive for innovation had led its 3D printing experts to never-before-seen 3D printing technology, using high viscosity resins. Developed over the last three years, the patented Viscous Lithography Manufacturing (VLM) provoked mass interest worldwide, with more than 500 companies registering to become…

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  • Triditive secures €5M pre-series A funding round. Enabling the company to continue developing the automation of additive manufacturing

    Triditive secures €5M in pre-series A funding round

    Triditive, a Spanish-based company focused on the automation of additive manufacturing, has secured €5M in a pre-series A funding round. The capital injection was led by a notable Spanish industrial group. Triditive’s objective in this new phase is to continue the development of the automation of additive manufacturing – enabling…

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  • BMW presents successful implementation of IDAM project

    The Industrialization and Digitization of Additive Manufacturing project (IDAM project) for automotive series processes has been successfully implemented. The project consortium, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and led by the BMW Group, started three years ago with small and medium-sized companies, large companies, and research…

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  • OECHSLER, AMT and HP partner to develop PBF production workflow

    OECHSLER, a global polymer technology company with HQ in Ansbach/Middle Franconia, is expanding its service portfolio in the field of additive manufacturing and enlarging its capacities for series production using HP powder-based 3D printing process and AMT for post-processing capabilities. For this purpose, OECHSLER is investing a mid-range single-digit million…

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  • Excel3D partners with Magic SPM to expand 3D printing services globally

    Excel3D Advanced Technologies Ltd, promoters & facilitators of advanced manufacturing technologies in India & the UK have formed a partnership with and investment from Magic SPM (Magic Special Purpose Machineries Pvt Ltd), India’s largest manufacturer of packaging machinery. This collaboration aims to accelerate the adoption of the latest in 3D…

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  • Quinly automates Prusa 3D printers in 11 countries;

    Quinly for Prusa MK3S is now autonomously running printers in 11 countries around the world, with an installed capacity of 1.2 million automated print hours per year. Quinly allows Prusa owners to queue as many prints as they wish at one time and walk away worry-free as Quinly prints jobs…

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  • Triditive and Foxconn to develop a metal binder jetting AM system

    The Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn has joined forces with the Asturian company Triditive, a global benchmark company in additive manufacturing, to develop a 3D printer leveraging binder jetting technology. For several years, Triditive has been developing and commercializing bound metal extrusion systems tailored for parts production, under the brand AMCELL.…

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