The open software architecture provides companies direct access to multiple hardware technologies and their preferred tools from Materialise and other software developers, supporting them along every step of their AM journey – from planning and printing to quality control.
While the name CO-AM can make us think of “co-creation” often highlighted by Materialise, it is not directly linked with it. It refers to the open software platform, the AM company develops to facilitate management of the additive manufacturing (AM) production process.
By providing cloud-based access to a full range of software tools, the AM company gives users – no matter what industry they work in – the luxury to integrate all of their preferred tools within one platform. For professionals in major manufacturing industries, including aerospace, automotive, consumer, medical and energy, this means having the latest software innovations at their fingertips and scaling their operations based on their current needs. Not to mention that, with seamless access to production data, they could continuously monitor and improve their AM workflows.
“This is an important milestone in our history”, says Bart Van der Schueren, CTO of Materialise. “CO-AM offers new opportunities for AM users to innovate at unprecedented levels with their preferred software solutions. This open platform will allow the AM community to co-develop solutions that create competitive advantages for individual companies and empower entire industries. At the same time, this business model generates new revenue streams for hardware and software partners.”
At the heart of the CO-AM platform is a data-lake that connects to all production tools and keeps track of what is happening on the production floor. The ability to monitor and analyze production data will enable operators to define and store their own unique workflows in a knowledge database, empowering them to continuously improve the production process. This creates an AI-powered learning platform where every printed part has the potential to be better than the previous one, Materialise says.
According to a press release, Materialise plans to offer more than 25 software applications on its CO-AM platform, including a seamless integration with Magics; AM Watch for shopfloor data collection, and its Build Processors for connectivity with more than 150 different 3D printing systems. The company will also open the platform to independent software vendors and has already onboarded several third party applications, including AM-Flow and Castor.
Lastly, the company invites AM software vendors to connect their applications to the CO-AM software platform for selected pilot projects. Development partners will get access to the software development kit (SDK), application programming interfaces (APIs), and staging environment, enabling them to natively build proprietary or co-developed solutions within the platform.
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