Top Additive Manufacturing Workflow Software Solutions
The growing adoption of 3D printing solutions in different industries has created a new need: additive manufacturing workflow software solutions. In recent years, we have seen the arrival of software that improve machine performance and help control the production of parts, from design, quality assurance, to final approval. The goal? To streamline the AM production process. For example, by integrating order management within a single software solution, you can enable companies to monitor each order, whilst they also monitor production. Other ways of streamlining workflow management exist, such as introducing tools dedicated to large scale production in 3D printing factories.
Given the increasing importance for such software solutions in recent years, today we present a list of some of the AM workflow management software solutions that exist in the industry. Initially, companies facing high AM production demands were more likely to resort to such tools, but today AM is being adopted at a much wider scale, therefore pushing the need for such solutions even more. The listing is ordered by alphabetical order.
The German company 3D Trust has developed its MES software for additive manufacturing in order to optimise the entire associated workflow and to enable the increased use of 3D printing technologies in factories. The solution supports the entire value chain, from order intake to delivery, real-time data collection and post-processing. This enables the user to maximize profitability and increase traceability. 3D Trust’s features include an automated production schedule using an algorithm to define priorities, as well as a tracking and tracing system for each printed part. The solution, available on tablet and smartphone, also offers efficient management of the materials used, especially powder. For example, you can scan the containers of your printers and carry out the mixing, sampling and recycling of powders. You can then view your inventory and the genealogy of your powders.
Agile Manufacturing Software Suite is a program designed by 3YOURMIND to be the core of the future of responsive and automated manufacturing. The software standardizes, optimizes, and automates the entire additive manufacturing process chain, and is based on 3 key pillars for production management Agile PLM, Agile ERP, and Agile MES. The first one (Product Lifecycle Management) includes modules to evaluate and store data to synchronize files, production requirements and communication in the additive manufacturing value chain. The second, Enterprise Resource Planning, adds automation to the way FA business processes are managed through distributed production networks. Finally, the Manufacturing Execution System increases transparency and accelerates the flow of information through automatic tracking and forecasting algorithms to gain effectiveness.
AM-Flow is a company based in the Netherlands that offers complete industrial automation solutions for additive manufacturing technologies. The company addresses the problem that it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies in AM to operate efficiently. More specifically, it is designed for additive manufacturing companies that print more than 200 parts per day with complex geometries. AM-Flow offers a solution post 3D printing, it is designed to eliminate the need for manual sorting of the printed parts by an employee, which can result in high costs for personnel. The company also advertises the fact that human error can be eliminated and that processes can benefit from significant time savings. The company also offers the option of a “pay as you grow program“, which tailors to different company sizes.
AMFG offers a tailor-made production management platform, adapted to the reality of each company. It meets the needs of rapid prototyping, 3D printing of spare parts or finished parts as well as printing services. The platform can manage and prioritize the different orders, analyze the printability of each 3D model, analyze all the prints launched and program them intelligently. AMFG’s solution integrates with existing ERP, PLM and CAD software, the goal being to have a single additive manufacturing platform with all the necessary tools in one place. You can also get a free demonstration on the AMFG website.
Authentise is an American company that has developed its production management software solution for both OEMs and service companies. Called Authentise Manufacturing Execution System, it allows to collect real time data of the additive manufacturing process and to increase its reliability. For example, for OEMs, it offers several functionalities such as centralized order taking and subcontracting, production planning, an online 3D model library, daily reporting, and real-time machine monitoring. Authentise’s solution would allow each user to reduce lead times by automating manufacturing processes and reduce production costs – between $0.35 and $48 per part. You can get a free demonstration of the platform on the company’s official website.
Fabpilot is an intelligent additive manufacturing software launched by Sculpteo. The software offers a complete solution for 3D printing and workflow management to support AM factories at whatever scale they operate. Some of tools include typical tools in AM software to prepare for 3D printing, such as STL file repair, 3D file analysis but also lattice generation. To this, Sculpteo has added some additional tools such as quotation, traceability, and job management. Therefore, on a single platform you will be able to streamline all operations and reduce waste by combining additive manufacturing with automation. After going through production, Fabpilot enables a company to get up-to-the-minute insights into performance thanks to its data driven tools.
LEO Lane offers a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for controlling and tracking additively manufactured products. The software also helps companies to maintain brand integrity and protect IP by securely managing 3D printing operations. Lee-Bath Nelson, co-founder and VP business at LEO Lane, introduced the company’s SaaS solution in a presentation during Formnext 2018. After a manufacturer has decided which part it needs to 3D print and has selected the way to produce it (material, printer type, etc.) LEO Lane SaaS solution secures it as a Limited Edition Object, or LEO file. According to the company, the handling of LEO files does not require any extra installations, appliances, special handling or transfer protocol. This workflow AM software can be integrated with many ecosystem platforms including SAP and Materialise to ensure a smooth end-to-end process.
Link3D is the leading AMES (additive manufacturing execution system) software for managing workflow and optimizing 3D production, both internally and externally. With it, customers can accelerate response time, maximize machinery utilization rates and provide a superior experience by enabling access to the supply chain. Link3D’s software can be differentiated into two types, depending on the function. The first is dedicated to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), offering production planning solutions to help companies build, and develop their projects with additive manufacturing. The second is for service bureaus, where they offer a superior customer experience with faster response rates and additive manufacturing production management solutions.
In April of this year we had the opportunity to present MakerOS as our #3Dstartup of the month. The New York based company emerged from the frustration they had in dealing with customers and managing the workflow of the projects in question. Thus, the digital MakerOS platform allows collaboration in the management of the projects provided by customers, from start to finish, even remotely. The Public Autuoquoter (PAQ) provides online quotes to manage the process effectively. The main advantages of the software are the reduction of friction in the projects and its speed in completing them, so all the actors end up benefitting from using this software solution.
Materialise Robot was launched by Materialise to streamline the 3D printing process, which today requires manual file processing before parts can be quoted and printed. The company points out that this is a step in the AM workflow that is prone to mistakes and therefore a drain on profits. Operations such as quoting or STL repair are performed automatically thanks to Materialise Robot. Some other features include 3D nesting, CAD to STL conversion, printability check and part sorting, etc. The company confirms that automation in the AM workflow enables businesses to operate 24/7, to reduce lead times, and aim for a higher return on investment. Materialise Robot is part of the company’s Streamics AM management system offering, which is a platform to manage, streamline and connect AM technologies and digital systems.
FactoryOS is a cloud-based, AI-powered workflow software created by global startup Oqton. This enterprise-wide software links data across the additive manufacturing ecosystem – from design to production. Oqton FactoryOS can be targeted to specific industry verticals as well as different workflows within those industries. The platform offers these specialized verticals in medical, industrial and aerospace 3D printing, with the main focus being on jewelry and dental markets. The AI algorithms enable the system to continuously learn with use, improving production efficiency and quality; it works in the background to feed customizable modules that present data relevant to specific operational roles.
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