Last week, I got to visit one of my favorite cities, Chicago, to attend my first International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). The biennial event is the largest, longest-running industry trade show in the Western Hemisphere, and after IMTS was canceled and turned into a digital event in 2020 due to the pandemic, everyone in the manufacturing industry was excited for its triumphant return to McCormick Place this year. At last check, IMTS was reporting over 85,100 registrations for the 2022 show, which featured nine specific pavilions on controls and CAD-CAM, quality assurance, metal removal, additive manufacturing, and more.
CASTOR Collaborates on Materialise CO-AM 3D Printing Platform
I was only there for a day and a half, so I made a lot of quick stops to try and visit as many booths as I could manage. One of my first visits was with CASTOR, where I spoke with Account Executive Dvir Perl and Angeliki Malizou, Business Development Director, who said it was a great show. CASTOR is an Israel-based automated 3D printing software company that helps manufacturers identify cost reduction opportunities enabled by using industrial 3D printing.
“We are here showing our software, which helps manufacturers find which parts make sense to 3D print or not,” Malizou told me at IMTS.
CASTOR’s mission is to optimize manufacturing by using its unique software to automatically identify parts that are suitable for AM, even analyzing 2D files for 3D printability. The startup not only can determine printability of files and parts, but also improve sustainability by determining the amount of CO2 emissions that can be saved by using 3D printing rather than traditional manufacturing.
CASTOR also partners with other AM companies to promote connectivity and seamless processes within the industry, and one of its most recent collaborations is with Materialise (Nasdaq: MTLS). This spring, the AM software leader announced its CO-AM Platform—an open software tool that integrates the offerings of different cloud-based software vendors for more efficient management of the overall AM process. The platform offers cloud-based access to multiple software tools for planning, managing, and and optimizing AM operations. So users can work on build prep with Materialise Magics software, or GrabCAD from Stratasys, and third-party apps are also available, including tools from AM-Flow for automatically tracking and grouping parts, and CASTOR for analyzing parts for 3D printability.
“CASTOR is one of the first applications with CO-AM, it helps the user build their own workflow,” Malizou told me at IMTS.
She also said that one of the highlights for CASTOR at IMTS was the chance to showcase its collaboration with the Materialise CO-AM Platform in two joint demonstrations.
Dyndrite Welcomes Sigma Additive Solutions to its 3D Printing Council
I also had the opportunity to stop by the Dyndrite booth while at IMTS and speak briefly with Chief Marketing Officer Shawn Hopwood. The Seattle-based startup offers a GPU-accelerated computation engine to create digital manufacturing hardware and software, and its contributions to advanced manufacturing resulted in Dyndrite being named a 2021 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.
As Hopwood told me, Dyndrite was at IMTS showcasing its Application Development Kit (ADK), which machine developers use to “build very high-powered applications” based on four specific uses cases: additive CAM build prep, process and calibration, materials and process development, and automated production lines.
“Our whole premise is creating higher-end software for the additive market so that we can get to a production-oriented initiative,” he continued.
The ADK contains all the necessary tools to customize a software application to a manufacturer’s unique machine, process, and user experience, directly reflecting the product value and brand.
The big announcement that Dyndrite made during IMTS was the latest addition to its Dyndrite Developer Council (DDC), which Hopwood explained is “composed of companies that are taking production to another level for additive,” such as HP, ExOne, Essentium, Renishaw, Trumpf, AddUp, Impossible Objects, 3D Systems, and more. This CTO-led, invite-only organization leverages the combined business and technical expertise of its more than 25 member companies to advance the digital manufacturing industry, and the newest member is Sigma Additive Solutions, which provides in-process quality assurance (IPQA) solutions to the AM industry.
Manufacturing processes have to be monitored in-situ for a number of reasons, and Sigma Additive Solutions provides this capability through its PrintRite3D solution, also available as an add-on for both polymer and laser powder bed fusion machines. As Hopwood explained, the new DDC member is “looking to build tools on top of our platform” to enable in-situ monitoring for additive production.
Stay tuned for more IMTS 2022 news! Until then, enjoy these pictures I took at the happy hour hosted by Women in 3D Printing on the rooftop of McCormick Place:
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