On demand manufacturing

3YOURMIND joins Project DIAMOnD to advance distributed 3D printing technology

Additive manufacturing software developer 3YOURMIND has joined Project DIAMOnD (Distributed, Independent, Agile Manufacturing On-Demand), a digital manufacturing project focused on revamping supply chains in America.

Created by Automation Alley, a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB), the project has already connected over 300 manufacturers in Michigan, in a bid to build a comprehensive distributed manufacturing network across the US. Funded by Michigan’s Oakland and Macomb counties, the program has formed the country’s largest network of blockchain-connected 3D printers to date, with 3YOURMIND’s software platform now set to lend a helping hand.

“Distributed manufacturing is the future and we believe that our software platform will enable manufacturers to localize production and leverage domestic expertise,” explains Alexandre Donnadieu, Managing Director at 3YOURMIND. “Our role in this project is to further the digital platform and provide end-to-end workflows that make it much more efficient for OEMs to produce parts on-demand.”

Agile MES 3D printed part workflow. Image via 3YOURMIND
3YOURMIND’s Agile MES software. Image via 3YOURMIND

On-demand 3D printing with Project DIAMOnD

With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting limitations in the conventional supply chain networks of today, Project DIAMOnD was intended as an antidote. Started in 2020, it initially began as a PPE production network, but has since evolved into a distributed 3D printing web for all kinds of parts. It is reportedly the first project of its kind designed specifically to “decentralize the marketplace” in the US.

The list of project partners is a fast-growing one, with Markforged, Microsoft, Autodesk, Giggso, and 3YOURMIND already on board. As it stands, there is a vast network of 300 Markforged 3D printers situated across the state of Michigan, with plans to expand both nationally and internationally.

Priding itself as the face of ‘industry 4.0’, Project DIAMOnD utilizes 3D printing, IoT connectivity, blockchain technology, and automation. With every 3D printer connected to a decentralized cloud, users are able to leverage flexibility to keep production workflows operational 24/7. The idea is to have a manufacturing service that is immune to future disruptions like pandemics, keeping manufacturers’ revenue streams up and running at all times.

“In order to accelerate the digital transformation of manufacturing, we must rely on machine learning and technology connectivity,” adds Donnadieu. “Blockchain technology supports the digital 3D printing network and our software paves the path for data transparency. We believe that supply chain resiliency is possible with Automation Alley.”

As a bonus, Project DIAMOnD also touts economic and environmental sustainability, having eliminated transportation and physical part storage costs.

3D printers from Markforged were chosen to implement Project DIAMOnD. Photo via Markforged.
3D printers from Markforged were chosen to implement Project DIAMOnD. Photo via Markforged.

Streamlined workflow management

3YOURMIND’s contribution to the project will be in the form of the company’s Agile ERP and Agile MES software products. The workflow management tools will be used to aggregate CAD data and identify 3D printable parts for production. By integrating 3YOURMIND’s functionality into the mix, the project partners hope to be able to coordinate production across multiple facilities in a streamlined manner.

“3YOURMIND understands the significance of data transparency and how this leads to new revenue generating opportunities for local businesses,” said Tom Kelly, Executive Director and CEO of Automation Alley. “With our established community of 3D printers and 3YOURMIND’s agile manufacturing software, we can coordinate production orders from many different locations and ensure part repeatability.”

While it may lack glamor, the world of workflow management and optimization software is crucial for the advancement of widespread 3D printing. Earlier this year, software developer 3D Control Systems, the parent company of 3DPrinterOS, launched its own additive manufacturing workflow management software – ZAP. The comprehensive AI-powered platform is intended to help manufacturers cut operational costs and improve production efficiencies with a full suite of production management functionality.

Elsewhere, additive manufacturing software provider Gravity Pull Systems recently launched a comprehensive workflow optimization system called Synoptik. Based on AI, the program is aimed at 3D printing service bureaus and manufacturing companies serving a wide variety of industries such as aerospace, medical and automotive.

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Featured image shows 3D printers from Markforged. Photo via Markforged.

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