Additive manufacturing smart production cells developer Handddle, announced a collaboration with Markforged, a Massachusetts-based 3D printer manufacturer. The collaboration strengthens manufacturing resiliency by facilitating on-demand industrial production by integrating the Markforged Digital Forge with Handddle’s micro-factories platform and other production process management tools through an application programming interface (API).
Dylan TALEB, Co-founder and COO of Handddle said, “Thanks to this collaboration, manufacturers will be able to rely on an integrated solution to develop their knowledge and control of production processes with data to further empower their production capabilities and reach the highest results while using their Markforged printers.”
“Handddle is thrilled to collaborate with Markforged to extend API integrations for Handddle and Markforged users looking to achieve industrial efficiencies to address quality challenges in strategic markets.” added Co-founder and COO of Handddle.
The Digital Forge – Markforged
All of the Markforged systems that are reportedly in use around the globe, numbering over 12,000, are connected by the cloud-based platform. According to The Digital Forge, it is the first of many to implement machine learning, which facilitates the company’s Eiger print preparation software to continuously learn from the 12,000 systems in the 73 nationwide global fleets. The company claims that theoretically, each print on a connected Markforged system ought to be more precise than the previous one.
Fleet federated learning, which The Digital Forge employs, is a networked type of machine learning that draws on information from other nodes, or other printers, in a wide network. By continuously exchanging and receiving printer data, the system itself becomes “smarter” day by day, allowing users to benefit from the most recent developments via the cloud, says the company. In due course, The Digital Forge and its printers were expected to improve their ability to make changes to print jobs in the middle of the process, decreasing the number of global print failures on Markforged systems while also improving part quality.
The platform relieves the burden on local systems by utilizing cloud resources, says the company. As a result, The Digital Forge can be employed to print parts that are reinforced with carbon fiber and metal from a single browser tab.
How does this partnership help customers?
With additive manufacturing, where the manufacturing process can be impacted by environmental factors like temperature and humidity, micro-factories are essential to producing high-quality products at scale. Process monitoring is particularly helpful in standardizing production and enhancing process certification for highly regulated industries. It tracks the complete manufacturing process and the circumstances under which a part is developed. The next step toward a Factory Floor Revolution driven by data-driven manufacturing strategies is creating digital continuity among smart environments and the printers within them. Eiger™
To bridge that gap, Handddle’s SMART FARM and Markforged’s Eiger™ software platform have partnered to deliver a standardized micro factory-ready solution. This solution aims to allow users to manufacture complex parts on Markforged printers consistently, reliably, and in any environment, says Markforged.
Ex-situ process monitoring and inspection are features of the integration that are intended to deliver production quality and efficiency without manufacturing interruptions by automatically updating environmental parameters in real time. The Handddle platform ensures that printers are used in accordance with Markforged guidelines and that parts are produced under ideal and dependable circumstances.
The Handddle App focuses on automating process monitoring and oversight using production data from Markforged’s Eiger software, leveraging this level of connectivity to address the standardization, traceability, and certification requirements of contemporary factories.
“Markforged is known for its 3D printing reliability and repeatability, enabling the production of industrial parts at scale,” says Julie van der Hoop, Product Manager at Markforged. “However, some industries or critical parts require clear reporting on constant production parameters, event history, and production data for certification before they can be put to end use. This integration is intended to make it seamless to import, slice, print, and monitor, with all of your production data in one place.”
Process monitoring and standardization
Previously, 3D printing software developer Sigma Labs was chosen by DMG MORI, a manufacturer of industrial manufacturing systems, to develop a melt pool monitoring system for its LASERTEC line of SLM machines. Both businesses had evaluated and confirmed that Sigma’s proprietary PrintRite3D in-process quality assurance software satisfies the requirements of DMG’s customers. Additionally, DMG MORI offered its 3D printers an interface to make them fully “PrintRite ready.”
Furthermore, AddUp’s FormUp 350 3D printer received praise in the 3D printing sector since its launch in 2021 by bridging safety, quality, and productivity, says the company.
As a result, AddUp introduced three new process monitoring software packages to supplement FormUp 350’s capabilities: AddUp Dashboards, Recoat Monitoring, and Meltpool Monitoring. AddUp claims that the software suite will speed up the implementation of its metal 3D printing technology by enhancing part quality confidence for both end-use industrial applications and prototyping.
Elsewhere, an additive manufacturing standardization contract was awarded to Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) by ASTM international. The project was utilized by the Aachen-based institute to select and qualify imaging sensor technology for laser powder bed fusion (PBF) 3D printer machine monitoring. The project ultimately enhanced the standardization of machine condition maintenance and monitoring, and ILT also offered cost-saving suggestions to the technologies’ end users.
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Feature image displays integration of Markforged’s Eiger Fleet software platform with Handddle micro-factories platform and other production process management tools via API. Image via Markforged.