Authentise’s “Threads” Is a Collaborative Engineering Platform for Smart Manufacturing

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Authentise, a London-based workflow software provider specializing in additive manufacturing (AM), announced the release of its latest product, Threads. A collaborative engineering and project management solution, Threads’ development was aided by feedback given to Authentise by 90 different organizations.

This is the second major announcement by Authentise in the last couple of weeks. On June 6, the company released its comprehensive AM database powered by GPT-4, 3DGPT. As the name of Threads implies, the platform is designed to achieve nothing less than maximum traceability of a given product’s total digital thread, while simultaneously facilitating as seamless collaboration as possible between users working together from a distance.

While seemingly countless products have made similar claims, it is no secret that cloud-based workflow platforms in the AM space still leave much to be desired. On the other hand, the fact that Authentise has been so quick to capitalize on the accelerative potential of large language models (LLMs) suggests that the company is at the forefront of a major shift in the AM software landscape. In that vein, it is easy to anticipate the synergy between gains made from 3DGPT and those made from Threads, once both platforms have fully taken off.

In a press release about the launch of Threads, the CEO of Authentise, Andre Wegner, explained, “Despite the noise about the need to be more agile, it’s clear there’s a relative lack of software solutions available today to support R&D, industrial engineering and manufacturing to actually accomplish this… Authentise Threads balances the flexibility of real-time collaboration needed to adapt to rapidly evolving challenges, with the structure needed to make engineering workflows a success. With it, Authentise is completing its vision of helping companies digitally track, power and integrate the idea-to-part process.”

Amit Visrolia, the Chief of Digital Engineering for the UK’s National Composites Centre (NCC) — one of the organizations that provided feedback to Authentise — said, “Authentise Threads provides us with a place for people to communicate and for data to be connected. With Threads decision processes, and their context, are captured, which is critical to our ability to demonstrate certification. Essentially, with Threads we have a people and communication work chain.”

According to Authentise, the R&D arm “of a leading surgical robotics company” was able to get started designing on the platform within a half-hour of its first login. After just two weeks, the company was already tracking 100 percent of its R&D decisions with Threads, which saved 150 hours of manpower and allowed staff to reduce the number of meetings required by twenty.

As much progress as there has been in the AM space over the last few years, the real inflection point for the sector’s forward momentum lies in the emergence of truly distributed production networks, which itself will depend on the widespread adoption of products like Threads. This means that, in the years ahead, software companies will have a disproportionate amount of leverage in terms of affecting the sector’s overall consolidation.

To elaborate a bit, companies focused primarily on the hardware side of things can only ever be elements within a manufacturing network. Contrarily, companies from seemingly more tangential areas of AM, like software providers and materials suppliers, will rather quickly be in prime position to control entire networks. Especially in a future where there will be a priority on tracking every input and output of every material to the minutest detail, it is not difficult to imagine providers of software and materials joining forces to dominate the market.

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