As the first market research firm to publish a report on the rapidly evolving trend of automation in 3D printing, SmarTech Analysis noted how crucial new technologies like machine learning, automatic post-processing, and simulation are to turning additive manufacturing (AM) into a truly industrial process. In turn, we can expect myriad firms to release products designed for implementing this automation. One of the most recent is Intellegens, a UK startup that has released a new version of its Alchemite software package for AM.
The software suite includes machine learning software, analysis tools and implementation services that are meant to aid 3D printing users to retrieve meaningful data from their systems, as well as enhance build parameters and achieve greater repeatability, while cutting the need for testing. The new package follows on Intellegens’ recognition at the recent AM Innovation Awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
As is well known in the industry, 3D printing is a highly variable process with countless factors impacting parts made by these machines. This is particularly true in metal 3D printing, where stakes are higher due to high material and machine costs, as well as more complex physics within some of the processes themselves. Therefore, there are a number of endeavors under way to make the technology easier to predict and control, deploying tools like simulation to pre-warp parts or optimize orientations alongside in-process monitoring hardware to tightly manage printing parameters.
In the case of Alchemite, Intellegens is able to take datasets that are either lacking in information or have an excess of noise and then find the meaningful data within. In the case of AM builds, the software is said to comprehend the effects of material properties, system parameters, operating conditions, and how they combine to impact the consistence and performance of 3D printed components.
Capabilities include: auto-generating and modifying models that determine relationships between properties and processes; determining optimal powder properties and machine parameters for a given outcome; track production data to perform failure analysis; data validation and completion; and the application of Design of Experiments that make it possible to narrow testing.
The technology has so far been used at Boeing to address issues related to metal alloys, as discussed in the above video. The company is also working with Ansys, which offers 3D printing simulation software, to integrate Alchemite into its AM data management tools. More recently, Intellegens won the Best-in-Class Software and Startup categories at ASME’s Innovation Awards.
“We were delighted to be recognised by the ASME additive manufacturing community,” comments Ben Pellegrini, CEO of Intellegens. “This is yet more evidence of the growing interest in applying our technology to AM. We are responding by ensuring that our product and service portfolio is optimised to enable a fast start as we onboard more AM customers.”
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