Automation

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.

  • Photo of Construction 3D printing startup Mighty Buildings launches with $30M backing

    Construction 3D printing startup Mighty Buildings launches with $30M backing

    There’s a new player in the construction 3D printing market: Mighty Buildings, an Oakland, California-based startup with a focus on automated home building solutions has just progressed beyond stealth mode. The company, which has raised an impressive $30 million from investors (including Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator, SV Angel and CoreVC),…

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  • Photo of HP chooses Dyndrite Kernel to power next-gen additive portfolio

    HP chooses Dyndrite Kernel to power next-gen additive portfolio

    3D printing company HP Inc. has selected Dyndrite’s geometry kernel to help power its next-generation cloud and edge-based digital manufacturing solutions. The partnership consists of a long term licensing agreement between the two companies and showcases HP’s dedication to AM innovation. It is also worth mentioning that HP’s interest in…

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  • Photo of Automation AM Focus 2020 eBook

    Automation AM Focus 2020 eBook

    This new publication, our seventh AM Focus eBook edition, delves into a theme that spans the additive manufacturing industry (and manufacturing on the whole) and is at the core of the technology’s industrialization: Automation. Automation is a necessary step in additive manufacturing’s journey towards industrialization, and plays a significant role…

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  • Photo of Just CyBe, the 3D printing company rethinking construction

    Just CyBe, the 3D printing company rethinking construction

    Today, the emerging construction 3D printing sector is being pioneered by a relatively small number of companies, each of which is presenting its own technology and vision for disrupting the global construction industry. Amongst them is CyBe, a Netherlands-based company that has taken an encompassing and holistic approach to construction…

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  • Photo of WAZP quotation model for AM Toys Safety recognized for innovation by E.U. Commission

    WAZP quotation model for AM Toys Safety recognized for innovation by E.U. Commission

    At a time when global supply chains are experiencing unprecedented stresses, AM companies need to step up and meet new demands. Within this context, WAZP, a global supply chain company for additive manufacturing, along with the University of Padeborn in Germany, has been recognized by the E.U. Commission as key…

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  • Photo of IDAM project takes GKN and BMW closer to industrialization of AM with real-time IoT

    IDAM project takes GKN and BMW closer to industrialization of AM with real-time IoT

    In March 2019, a consortium of 12 partners from across the additive manufacturing, automotive, research and industrial sectors launched the IDAM (Industrialization and Digitalization of Additive Manufacturing) project. At its core, the project addresses the limitations of laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) AM, including the lack of automation and high…

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  • Photo of A closer look at the BAE Systems Factory of the Future

    A closer look at the BAE Systems Factory of the Future

    At BAE Systems, a new intelligent, smart factory is now set to increase productivity and revolutionize combat aircraft production in the UK. This first-of-its-kind industry 4.0 factory is applying game-changing digital technologies to advance manufacturing on the UK’s next-generation combat aircraft system, Tempest. Welcome to the BAE Systems Factory of…

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  • Photo of How automation is changing 3D printing jobs

    How automation is changing 3D printing jobs

    A key to the factory of tomorrow is automation. Automation allows integrated manufacturing systems to function practically autonomously and will thus replace and change many jobs. So, with the factory of tomorrow, who will be the workers of tomorrow? Within the additive manufacturing industry, the focus is increasingly shifting to…

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  • Photo of PrintSyst.ai announces next-gen AI engine, the 3DP AI-Perfecter

    PrintSyst.ai announces next-gen AI engine, the 3DP AI-Perfecter

    PrintSyst.ai, an Israel-based startup, has announced the launch of its next-generation proprietary AI engine for 3D printing. The software, called 3DP AI-Perfecter, is a pre-printing evaluation tool based on artificial intelligence technologies. The new program is designed to enable industries like aerospace, defense and automotive to fully exploit the benefits…

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  • Photo of 3D printing key in Schneider Electric’s Industry 4.0 transformation

    3D printing key in Schneider Electric’s Industry 4.0 transformation

    European multinational Schneider Electric is currently undergoing a transformation. The company, founded in 1836, is implementing Industry 4.0 technologies and operations across its entire business to increase operational efficiency and reduce customer costs. At its Puente la Reina plant in Navarra, Spain, 3D printing is one of the technologies that…

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