Makelab, a Brooklyn-based 3D printing service bureau, is partnering with automation software specialist AMFG to implement the latter’s software into its workflow for easier and more accessible 3D printing. Makelab says its adoption of AMFG’s software platform will also help it to increase automation and streamline its manufacturing operations, which will help it to manage a growing number of clients and projects.
As a service, Makelab works with clients from various industries, from automative to design and jewellery, to bring products to life. Assisting with product design, production and part finishing, the company says it has experienced a growing demand for its services over the past year, which has led it to seek improved and increasingly automated workflows.
With its AM-specific automation software platform, UK-based AMFG fit the bill to help Makelab.
“With AMFG, we’ve found an end-to-end solution which not only takes care of the auto-quoting in a more user-friendly and intuitive way, but also takes care of managing production, which is a huge advantage for us,” explained Christina Perla, co-founder of Makelab. “As we scale our business, we’re always looking for innovative ways to solve key issues like keeping track of all our machines, effectively packing builds and ultimately, optimizing our workflow for maximum efficiency. AMFG answered all of these questions and more, so we can provide a faster, more efficient service for our customers.”
AMFG’s software provides a user-friendly and accessible portal for customers to request 3D printed parts and receive a quote from service providers. To use the four step platform, clients simply have to upload their 3D files to receive an almost instant quote. Simultaneously, the backend of the software conducts auto-analysis and repair functions, including wall-thickness analysis.
In addition to AMFG’s on-demand portal, Makelab will also implement the company’s production management system to improve its own manufacturing operations. The management system will enable Makelab to automatically schedule production jobs and optimize build space, track parts and requests, plan its post-processing and conduct quality assurance control.
“Our partnership with Makelab marks AMFG’s further expansion into the US market,” said Felix Doerr, Head of Business Development at AMFG. “With the demand for 3D printing growing exponentially, now is the time for service bureaus and OEMs to start thinking about how to scale their AM operations in the long term. Makelab faced this challenge and concluded that production automation is the right solution. We look forward to helping them continue to deliver exceptional results.”
As Doerr rightly points out, one of the biggest factors in furthering the adoption and proliferation of additive manufacturing is increasing automation. AMFG, which recently released its Holistic Build Analysis tool for optimizing print scheduling and build tray usage, is just one of the companies trying to innovate and accelerate this facet of 3D printing.
At Makelab, the implementation of AMFG’s automation software will also reportedly enable it to advance other areas of its business, including fulfilment partnerships. As the company explains, it has started to collaborate with leading e-commerce stores on 3D printed products. Recently, for instance, it became the U.S. arm for the fulfilment center of one of the largest toy manufacturers in the market.
“Using AMFG has helped us to open up and streamline other areas of our business,” concluded Perla. “Previously, production was a manual, time-consuming process. But with AMFG’s software, we can now easily integrate fulfilment into our existing workflows by digitizing the entire 3D printing process.”