Newsletter (July) – The new face of Run automation

Improved tools for better print automation

 

We know that there are a lot of opportunities to use data to improve the scheduling workflow in additive manufacturing. We’ve known it since we started.

Now we’re taking the new steps towards that promise.

The first step is to make it easier to select parts. We know what needs to be manufactured, and pretty much everything about it.
That we should be able to pre-select and even sort the parts that need to be manufactured based on the device you’re targeting.
So, in the next week, we’ll be releasing our new run/build page.

RunBuild Page

It’ll let you filter the parts’ list based on the machine that you’ve selected, and default sorts them by “Due Date”. Now all you’ve got to do is to select the parts you want to make, and we’ll make sure they’re properly nested (2D, 3D coming soon), tell you when it’s likely to start, how long it’ll take and how much room you have.

To learn more about our Additive Production Accelerator (APA) and how it can help boost your business, visit our website.

The Road Ahead

That’s just the start. We also wanted to take some time to outline the road ahead. Two improvements that we have squarely in view are:
  • Auto-nesting – We’re working on the ability to give you the most efficient builds based on your part backlog. Since good nesting/packing is usually driven by the computing resources/time available, making a selection and then packing is not the way to go. Instead, our multi-threaded packing approach intends to do this in the background, based on all the part’s features (such as material, workflow, due-date, quality requirements etc) that you’ve entered previously, and iterate through thousands of potential variations before you’ve ever logged on. That way, by the time you do, you have a one-click option to get the most efficient build possible.
  • Machine-code creation – As mentioned last month, moving nested builds directly on to the machine is the next step in automating the workflow. We can achieve that by working with the OEMs to create the build on the fly. That’s also a project we are starting this year, and are looking for partners – especially if you have EOS machines.
If you would like to know more about the new run/build page or the upcoming features we will add, please let us know by contacting our CMO Frank Speck at frank@authentise.com.

Traditional design processes don’t work with AM, so it’s changing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 81)

We’ve set up our design process to be efficient and reliable for the tools at our disposal, and with 3D printing, it’s about time to shake it up. 3D printing is inherently different from traditional manufacturing techniques and, to explore its true potential, we need to rely on design tools that help us explore new directions. Sandia Labs argues that this technology doesn’t plug easily into established production methodologies, both in terms of speed and how the variables involved impact the parts. The different features of a 3D printed part are a challenge for precision manufacturing lines. Apart from industrial compatibility issues, to see where we can push 3D printing we need to think outside the box. Concepts like 4D manufacturing help us envision what we can achieve with the technology, with parts that react to temperature, light or mechanical changes. This is nothing new in and of itself, but it’s been explored through 3D printing and it’s empowered design capabilities. We are already on the right track to reinvent the design process through smart digital tools, like generative design and quick iterative cycles, and the future looks exciting.

Sandia Labs Focused on Optimizing Design for 3D Printing

3D printing is capable of streamlining both design and production processes, but most designers (and many design tools) aren’t really prepared to take advantage of the design possibilities the technology presents. Traditional design methods applied to additive manufacturing don’t necessarily lead to fully optimized designs. Sandia National Laboratories’ Laboratory Directed Research and Development project hopes to point the industry in the right direction.

According to Sandia, the project focused on “how to put less precise 3D printed parts together with precise tools, taking advantage of the rapid prototyping, design and manufacturing possible with additive manufacturing.”

Read the full article here.

MIT engineers create 3D-printed magnetic shape-shifters

Engineers from MIT have designed soft, 3D-printed structures that can transform their shape “almost instantaneously” with the wave of a magnet. The magnetically manipulated objects are made using a type of 3D-printable ink developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has been infused with tiny magnetic particles.

Read the rest here.

Autodesk University: How is Generative Design used Within Additive Manufacturing?

With a keenness to learn more about how design processes can affect AM end-production, 3D Printing Industry attended Autodesk University’s industrial talk entitled “Generative Design: Past, Present, and Future”. This lecture was led by Autodesk’s Principal Technical Consultant Andrew Harris and Allin Groom a Research Engineer at Autodesk.

Read more at 3D Printing Industry.

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How to fund Digital Manufacturing? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 80)

Funds like Atomico are already forming a portfolio of startups poised to disrupt many verticals through IIoT, robotics and AI, and they are showing excitement for the future as well. There is tremendous value to be created through digital startups, many of which take on daunting challenges. The aptly named Automation Everywhere wants to bring, you guessed it, automation to any mundane human task, both physically and digitally, and has just raised $1.8 billion valuation. Similarly, company Katerra wants to reinvent how the construction industry is structured and has already raised $865 million in venture capital. But is Venture Capital really the right way to fund a B2B industry with slow sales? The fact that Automation Everywhere waited 15 years to raise its first funding, and Katerra is backed with $865m from Softbank indicates maybe not. Maybe more patient private capital, or even public markets – with their more limited growth objectives – are the right source of funding. Foxconn backing Andrew Ng, while Flex has backed ex-Autodesk CEO Carl Bass with $200m indicates it may be so. Our prediction: We’ll see a lot more interesting funding mechanisms in this industry going forward.

Data, AI & Robots: Atomico’s Take on Industry 4.0

Inexpensive sensors, cheap wireless communications infrastructure, highly scalable cloud-based data processing and novel machine learning methods have converged to a point where the building blocks are in place for a new Machine Age. Venture capital investment in internet-of-things in Industry (the decidedly ugly-sounding “IIoT”) is at an all time high, according to a CB Insights report on the topic, with over $1bn invested in Q4 2017 alone.

Read the full article at Medium.

Silicon Valley company that automates ‘mundane’ tasks with robots gets nearly $2 billion valuation

A Silicon Valley company that uses bots to automate certain tasks previously done by human workers has reached a $1.8 billion valuation with a new fundraising from several companies, including Goldman Sachs. San Jose, California-headquartered Automation Anywhere this week announced a $250 million round of fundraising — its first round of outside funding despite being in business for 15 years.

Read the rest here.

Can Silicon Valley Disrupt How We Build?

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Katerra announced that it had acquired Michael Green Architecture, a 25-person architecture firm in Vancouver, British Columbia. On June 12, the company revealed that it had bought another, larger architecture firm, Atlanta-based Lord Aeck Sargent. This comes five months after Katerra raised $865 million in venture capital from funders led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which has also invested heavily in the co-working startup WeWork. “The construction industry is ripe for digital disruption,” said co-founder and chairman Michael Marks in a press release. “This new round of funding will enable us to further invest in R&D and continue to scale the business.”

Read the full article here.

 

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3D Printing is the framework for tomorrow’s manufacturing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 79)

When planning the facilities of the future, 3D printing is now being cited among the top 3 manufacturing tools to deploy. Not only that, entirely new production pipelines are being developed to really crank up productivity through this medium, while still fully exploiting what makes 3D printing so unique. When you take a company like Boeing, which is starting to envision a near future where 3D printing enables customizable cabin interiors, of course they’ll still want to serialize part production as much as possible, to minimize production time and resource logistics. This is the reasoning behind the new EV production plant in Shanghai, which will be planned revolving around the 3D printed car framework from Divergent3D. Logistically, 3D printing enables a much nimbler pipeline, with agile manufacturing capabilities that will have a huge impact on the industry and the network of capillary infrastructures that are still based on last century thinking.

 

Boeing expects 3D printing to help airlines customize cabin interiors

Boeing is investing heavily in developing its additive manufacturing capabilities ahead of an expected increase in the number of applications for 3D printed commercial aircraft parts. The airframer already incorporates additive manufactured components into various aircraft cabin products, and expects the technology to provide airlines with a new way of customizing their interiors in the future.

Check out the full article here.

 

Shanghai Commits To Divergent 3D Printed Electric Vehicle Production

The Divergent 3D node-based additive manufacturing technology used to make the Blade supercar is to be the driver of a new electric vehicle (EV) production plant in Shanghai. The forthcoming factory is a joint development between EV investment firm We Solutions, and Shanghai Alliance Investment, a private equity and venture capital arm of Shanghai Municipal Government.

“It will only be a matter of time before policies come out stating that old vehicles have to be abolished. As a result we have to get ready, not only for the EV industry but for the world’s largest automovile industry. That’s why we’re entering the market.” says Eric Ho King-fung, chairman of We Solutions in an article for the South China Morning Post.

Read the article here.

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Is 3D printing reinventing the automotive assembly line? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 78)

Henry Ford was the first to envision a streamlined way of bringing quality automobiles to market. The idea behind his revolutionary vision was that technology enabled his workers to optimize their activities. That philosophy is still alive and well in the automotive industry and now, thanks to 3D printing, it’s experiencing a renewed sense of discovery. Currently, companies like Audi and GM are employing 3D printing to help speed up the design and prototyping cycle cutting lead times by more than 50% and saving over $300K on tooling. The bravest (or those with the most resources) are pushing 3D printing towards new applications and wild concepts for the cars of the future.

General Motors Saves $300,000 By Switching To 3D Printed Tooling

Zane Meike holds sample 3D printed tool at the Lansing Delta Township assembly plant in Michigan. Photo by Michael Wayland/Automotive News

The Lansing Delta Township assembly plant of American multinational vehicle manufacturer General Motors has reported an expected cost saving of over $300,000 since it acquired a 3D printer three years ago. Driving forward its 3D printing efforts, the plant eventually expects to create annual cost savings in the millions of dollars.

Read the full article here.

Shanghai Commits To Divergent 3D Printed Electric Vehicle Production

The Divergent 3D node-based additive manufacturing technology, used to make the Blade supercar, is to be the driver of a new electric vehicle (EV) production plant in Shanghai.

“The EV market in China is at an inflection point, with unparalleled growth in demand and government policy stimulus,” says Eric Ho King-fung, chairman of We Solutions in an article for the South China Morning Post.

Check out the rest of the article here.

MIT’s 3D-printed inflatables could shape the interiors of cars in the future

Car interiors could morph into different configurations at the flick of a switch, using 3D-printed inflatable structures developed by researchers at the MIT. The Self-Assembly Lab at MIT worked with BMW on the project, called Liquid Printed Pneumatics. The result is a stretchy, inflatable silicone prototype that can take on a number of different shapes depending on the level of air pressure inside. If turned into a car seat, it could quickly be tuned to different positions, or levels of springiness depending on user preference.

Read the rest at Dezeen.

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3D Printing is helping reinvent robots (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 77)

3D printing is helping many industries find new effective ways of going about their business. In robotics, this was particularly apparent, mostly due to the still very early nature of the field. The research environment is more flexible and open to disruption and this has led to some pretty amazing applications. Through generative design CAD techniques, Boston Dynamics robots got a substantial weight-cut and simplified the overall design, much like Airbus is doing with its airplane cabin parts. Thanks to its manufacturing flexibility and quick iteration times, 3D printing is enabling wild prototying ideas, like new soft robotic grippers, and aiding students in not only putting robotics within reach but to be able to innovate on practically the same level as any other company.

A Morning Jog With Boston Dynamic’s 3D Printing Powered Atlas Robot

Structure of the Atlas' legs. Image via Boston Dynamics

Despite the feeling for this extremely realistic robot, [Boston Dynamic’sAtlas is undeniably a feat of modern engineering, in many parts enabled by 3D printing. To be expected, the legs responsible for Atlas’ convincing agility have been cited as one of the most challenging parts of its development. Each leg is actuated by hydraulic power, requiring the internal integration of multiple channels and actuator cylinders into a single part – a task that has been overcome with the use of 3D printing.

Read the full coverage on 3D Printing Industry.

Silicone material enables the 3D printing of soft robotic grippers

3d printing of soft robotic grippers

The ACEO team from Wacher Chemie AG chose 3D printing for its soft robotic grippers because this technology lets designers customize the grippers into varying sizes, shapes and weights. The elastomer material is made from 100% silicone and can be used in food applications and also offers biocompatibility.

Check out the full article here.

Rize One 3D Printer Helps Students Reach Success in Robotics Competition

FRC Team 1257 was part of a challenge that was called FIRST Power Up, which asked students to build robots that placed boxes on scales. As part of the challenge, the team designed a functional pulley with an integrated sprocket and used a Rize One 3D printer to 3D print it in one piece, reducing the number of parts that would have otherwise been needed and minimizing the assembly required.

“We chose the Rize One 3D printer to print the part due to Rize’s isotropic part strength and ink marking capability,” said Jackie Gerstein, a technology teacher at UCMHS and faculty advisor and mentor to Team 1257.

Read the article here.

 

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Newsletter (June) – expanding direct 3D printers’ control

Let’s be partners!

Direct 3D printer control is coming, are you with us?

Authentise has a history of developing solutions that enable the users to do more with their equipment. Now, building on our work in streaming and with companies like Lowe’s and Stratasys, we are starting to move on to direct control of machines.

EOS is committed, and we can push directly information into their 3D printers. Initially, we are rolling out these features to EOS printers, but there will be many more to come.

Be an early adapter and benefit from special discounts to this program.

Controlling the user’s 3D printer will mean:

  • Nesting can be more efficient due to a more direct and data-rich approach in dealing with orders.
  • Setup can be more automated, by giving our platform the power to schedule certain operations without user’s input.
  • Quoting can be more accurate.
  • Set up each machine, generate and send the toolpaths remotely into the printers.
  • and much more!

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If you or your company have EOS 3D printers and are looking to be an early adopter of these new features, please let us know by contacting our CMO Frank Speck at frank@authentise.com.

Can Data Connectivity Catapult AM Forward? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 76)

AM is a manufacturing technology like many other but, unlike most, has numerous variables at play in making the final part. Most are controlled by the initial setup by the lab technician, but after that there is very little that goes in the way of making sure that the best result is achieved. In-print monitoring is crucial yet still hard to apply properly. Techniques like machine learning enable automated pinpointing of potential issues, stopping before precious time and resources are wasted. This will be made possible thanks to a slew of sensors that power computer-vision algorithms. The bandwidth required for these applications will be huge, something that coming 5G networks will be able to support, together with other IIoT applications previously impossible. In the future, self-correcting printers will make AM much more reliable and efficient. There is already so much that the data coming from printers can teach to improve operational performance. At Authentise we have developed smart analytical tools to help you leverage all that data, and are now moving towards letting you control printer directly, with remote and automated tools.

Machine Learning and Metal 3D Printing Combine for Real-Time Process Monitoring Algorithm

Two researchers from the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have figured out how to combine 3D printing and machine learning for real-time process monitoring, a practice which can detect anomalies inside a part while it’s being 3D printed. Their research could one day lead to self-correcting 3D printers.

Read the full story here.

New whitepaper examines smart metrology for additive manufacturing

If factories are to become faster and more flexible, inspection is a bottleneck to overcome, especially in industries where 100% inspection is required. In this new whitepaper by Autodesk and Faro, smart metrology for the additive manufacturing industry. Components made by additive manufacturing technologies (AM) have more variables than machined parts. Faster inspection for additive manufacturing is more challenging because AM processes are not as accurate as cutting metal. Better metrology for AM will help reduce feedstock and costs.

Check out the whitepaper here.

How Will 5G Change Robotics and the IIoT?

As efficient and effective as 4G technology is, it pales in comparison to the faster, more reliable platform of 5G. If the new protocol meets its advertised speeds of 100 gigabits per second, this rates 5G at a speed of 1,000 times faster than 4G. Given the increasing size of datasets, the greater need for real-time data processing and more reliance on large-scale and long-term data storage, it’s easy to see how 5G benefits everyone.

Read the full article here.

 

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New design thinking is helping AM reach new heights (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 75)

AM is a fantastic piece of technology, but sometimes it can only go as far as the design behind it. That’s why, following the rise and promise of 3D printing techniques, new ways of designing by means of CAD and reasoning have been born, and they help boost the capabilities of AM in a number of ways. Take General Motors for example: through a technique called generative design, they are able to procedurally build the volume of a part to better address its functions and operational stresses, while at the same time saving precious weight. In other cases, new materials and design possibilities come together to enable unprecedented applications like, for example, a customized inflatable for future car interiors. With this kind of thinking, we start to see how this new wave of design methodologies is enabling AM processes to actually work. The 3D printed bridges and houses that we often hear about wouldn’t be much of a revolution by 3D printing alone, if not for a smart and optimized design that can make it work and excel.

GM and Autodesk Using Additive Manufacturing for Lighter Vehicles

GM is using Autodesk’s generative design technology and additive manufacturing to fabricate lighter automotive parts; this seat bracket is 40% lighter and 20% stronger than its predecessor. […] It uses cloud computing and AI-based algorithms to rapidly explore multiple permutations of a part design; it can generate hundreds of high-performance, often organic-looking geometric design options based on goals and parameters set by the user.

Read the full article here.

MIT’s 3D-printed inflatables could shape the interiors of cars in the future

Car interiors could morph into different configurations at the flick of a switch, using 3D-printed inflatable structures developed by researchers at the MIT. The Self-Assembly Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) worked with BMW on the project, called Liquid Printed Pneumatics. The German auto brand wanted to see how the lab’s experimental engineering techniques could help it realize some of the shapeshifting features imagined in its futuristic concept cars.

Keep reading at Dezeen.

Additive Construction: From the 3D-Printed House to the 3D-Printed High-Rise

AM has begun to affect nearly every industry, from healthcare to aerospace, making it possible to create unique geometries with unique properties. One industry where 3D printing’s impact is at an even more nascent stage in construction. There are firms and research groups exploring the use of 3D printing as a building technology, but additive construction is still so young that its exact purpose and benefits remain speculative and unclear. Why, other than for sheer novelty, squeeze concrete out of a nozzle to fabricate a building when you can rely on traditional methods?

Read the full article here.

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How large companies are (or plan to) leverage AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 74)

Big companies are the first to experiment and get to know the features of new technologies. Their job is to stay on top of the competition and new manufacturing techniques like AM are bringing new possibilities. However, part of the process is recognizing where the technology would be most beneficial. Right now, AM is being actively employed for prototyping and iterating the design of entirely new types of parts. Ford, for example, is experimenting with large-format 3D printing to bring to its car manufacturing. For other companies, where the runs are small and often full of complex parts, AM is a real game-changer. Airbus has been 3D printing panels for its A350 XWB model airplane, saving weight and money. Even though the dream of bringing AM to mass manufacturing plants is still a ways off, progress is being made to make it a reality. Adidas is testing the fast, production-level 3D printer from Carbon to produce as many as 100’000 AM-enabled shoe pairs by the year’s end.

3D printing: Ford pilot project goes large

The automaker is running a project with Stratasys, a manufacturer of additive manufacturing systems based in Eden Prairie, Minn., that’s testing the production of big, single-piece units as prototypes, auto parts and components. Ford recognizes the Stratasys system as a potentially more efficient and affordable way to create tooling, prototype parts, make components for low-volume vehicles (such as performance cars) and produce personalized car parts.

Read more at Plant.ca

Airbus saves 15% in material weight due to 3D printing

The European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, has been working with Materialise’s Certified Additive Manufacturing for two, creating plastic parts for aircraft through 3D printing. The manufacturer has noted the benefits of 3D printing for small batch production, enabling more customization whilst being time and cost-effective.

Read the full article here.

How Adidas Plans To Bring 3D Printing To The Masses

Adidas is not only planning to introduce by the end of this year 100,000 pairs of shoes with plastic midsoles made via a new 3D technology created by Silicon Valley startup Carbon; it’s also making moves to ramp up that production to millions in the coming years, said James Carnes, vice president of strategy creation for Adidas’s namesake brand.

“We have a really aggressive plan to scale this,” Carnes said in an interview. “We are scaling a production. The plan will put us as the (world’s) biggest producer of 3D-printed products.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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