3D Software

Innovate UK grants Valuechain funding to bring AI to 3D printing

Valuechain.com, a UK-based software company has received a £960k grant from Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body for accelerating innovation.

The funding will go towards integrating Artificial Intelligence capabilities into Valuechain’s production management software for additive manufacturing called DNAam.

Tom Dawes, CEO of Valuechain, said, “with this project, we are looking to be able to model big data captured from multiple sources such as ERP systems; AM plant, equipment and sensors; and material analysis software; to understand correlations between powder properties, plant/sensor parameters, part complexity and production builds and generate AM optimization insights.”

Furthermore, FDM Digital Solutions, a Lancashire-based 3D printing solutions provider, will partner with Valuechain to open an innovation center at the Lancashire facility. The AI software will be tested there before commercial use.

Automated production management for AM

Valuechain’s DNAam is an automation software specially designed for additive manufacturing. It was developed in partnership with Airbus UK for use in the AM production processes in the aerospace sector.

The software offers various management and monitoring possibilities, such as inventory management, chemical analysis, and quality control.

One of its prime features is that the chemical composition of materials and test results can be recorded in the software. This data becomes available to the entire production team who can monitor changes in the material for chemical analysis and quality assurance.

DNAam can also be used with older management systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software.

With high profile clients like Airbus and Bentley, AI integration will bring new possibilities for Valuechain and DNAam.

Dawes explained, “this UKRI [Innovate UK] innovation funding and partnership with FDM, combined with some of the work we’re already doing will enable us to deploy AI to optimize and scale AM throughout the global advanced engineering sector.”

Chemical Analysis window in DNAam. Image via Valuechain
Chemical Analysis window in DNAam. Image via Valuechain

Artificial intelligence in additive manufacturing

As the manufacturing industry moves towards Industry 4.0, full automation remains ones of its prime focus.

Earlier this year, AMFG partnered with Makelabs to automate Makelabs on-demand 3D printing services. Similarly, Xometry provides end-to-end digital on-demand 3D printing services, facilitated by automation software.

However, DNAam’s integration with Artificial Intelligence points towards a wider trend in the industry. It signifies the convergence of digital technologies and equipping of software and hardware systems with AI.

As previously reported, an AI and 3D printing company Ai Build introduced a subscription service to make factories completely autonomous. The subscription comes with the company’s software and AI robotic arm extruder, which makes decisions based on collected data during a print.

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Featured image shows VR visualization of a Bentley interior, made possible by Valuechain. Image via Valuechain.