3D Printing

Tend.ai raise $2m for advanced manufacturing vision

Investors are betting that cloud robotics and 3D printing will pay off with a $2 million investment. Robots are well suited for performing repetitive tasks and Oregon software start-up are using them with 3D printers to perform some of the more tedious aspects of the process. These tasks include having to manually press buttons on the printers, extract printed items and react to potentially disastrous 3D printing errors.  We reported on Tend.ai’s already impressive use of robotic arms back in June, and this new investment appears to validate the business model.

As the video displays, the robot is able to perform tasks that would normally require a physical presence. Tend.ai’s software eliminates some of the routine tasks involved with operating the 3D printer yourself, because the robot arm can do so instead. After it’s installation which involves mounting a webcam to the arm and connecting it to a small computer, the arm is able to perform tasks quite easily while learning and improving at the same time.

Tend.ai operated robot arm. Image via Tend.ai
Tend.ai operated robot arm. Image via Tend.ai

The most exciting aspect of this technology is the possibility of remotely controlling numerous 3D printers as the robotic arms can be trained to perform repetitive tasks with some intricacy. As 3D printing grows in popularity and scope – the use of these type of machines could be vital to increasing efficiency. Furthermore, with news of this large investment the significance of this technology is only going to increase. This investment is an indicator of not only solid interest in the market, but also confidence in the future of 3D printing. Prior to this announcement it was published that Auburn University is also receiving investment into their research into Additive Manufacturing.

Featured Image via Tend.ai