It seems like just about every day, another new partnership emerges in the 3D printing industry, especially this time of year – this week alone, Aurora Labs signed a binding term sheet with WorleyParsons, Epson and DJI announced an augmented reality collaboration, HP has announced new and expanded partnerships, and CECIMO and EWF have begun a joint effort to increase AM technology adoption in Europe. As the saying goes, there is no “I” in “team,” and one of the best ways to foster and grow innovation is by working together with other top companies. Today, we’ve learned that Authentise Inc. has signed a cooperation agreement with leading metal-based additive manufacturing technology supplier SLM Solutions Group.

A cooperation agreement is pretty much just like it sounds – a contract between two parties in order to mark their mutual decision to pool their knowledge and resources in an effort to reach a common goal. In this case, Authentise, which provides software to automate additive manufacturing processes, and SLM Solutions will integrate their solutions to continue working towards production additive manufacturing automation.

“We’re very pleased with this partnership with Authentise, as it represents an expansion of our existing Industry 4.0 initiatives and solutions,” said Henner Schöneborn, member of the Management Board of SLM Solutions Group AG. “This collaboration enables our customers to access real-time production data from SLM machines – a capability that’s enormously important especially for customers that deploy our machines for series manufacturing of components. With this partnership, we’re taking an important step towards the fully automated processing of orders on our machines. Authentise supplements our Additive Hub design software that we developed in-house.”

SLM Solutions develops, assembles, and sells SLS printers and integrated system solutions. Through the new cooperation agreement, SLM will provide real-time production data from its machines into Authentise’s 3Diax platform, a modular process automation system introduced in 2015 that enhances 3D printing operations for businesses with progressive tools and improved security and storage.

Due to their flexibility in adapting and integrating automation into existing work processes, 3Diax modules can reduce production costs and increase customers’ product launch times; Authentise introduced a new 3Diax module, Geometric Search, in September, which makes shape search technology more available to the digital manufacturing industry.

By integrating real-time production data from SLM Solutions machines into the 3Diax platform, SLM Solutions’ customers will achieve higher efficiency, quality, and transparency for AM projects, since they can automate process flows more easily if they can evaluate real-time production data; this is especially helpful in terms of series manufacturing.

“This partnership with SLM is an important step to completing the digital thread in additive manufacturing. The direct data access to SLM machines that has now been enabled can be combined with other functionalities of our 3Diax software modules to automate manual tasks. It is possible, for example, to automatically update an order status, or generate documentation that enables finished components to be traced back to source,” said Andre Wegner, Authentise CEO. “Our 3Diax platform utilizes data in the sense of a self-learning system. The partnership also makes it easier to integrate SLM machines into SLM Solutions’ customers’ IT systems, and facilitates the transparent analysis of production data through the 3Diax Machine Analytics module. The partnership with SLM Solutions – a leading supplier of metal-based additive manufacturing technology – is so important because together can we expand the use of additive manufacturing machines in series production.”

Both Authentise and SLM Solutions Group will be exhibiting at formnext in Frankfurt next week.

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