We used to talk about automation after the 3D printing process when it comes to post-processing while in fact, some of the most annoying tasks after the fabrication are identification and sorting. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. That being said, we need to recognize that these tasks are also the least highlighted because most companies are leveraging AM technologies for prototyping purpose.
Those who are already using these technologies for serial production know exactly how time consuming it is to conduct these tasks manually. One OEM that has seen industrials constrained by this challenge is AM-Flow, a developer of an end-to-end workflow automation for AM. Together with 3D printing service provider Parts On Demand, both companies have decided to work together to optimize the identification and sorting of custom series products with minimal deviations and/or unique printed codes.
The optimization of this process is meant for the Utrecht-based production facility of Parts On Demand. In this setting, the AM-Flow system will digitally connect to existing printing and finishing modules.
“Additive Manufacturing is a serious alternative to traditional mass production methods. To produce cost-effectively, the entire digital workflow must be designed optimally, and manual processes must be kept to a minimum. With this collaboration, we will soon be even better able to offer this end-to-end industrialization”, Stefan Rink, CEO AM-FLOW comments.
By focusing on the automation of the post-production process of 3D printing, both companies ambition to optimize it as a competitive production technology for large ‘custom series’ production.
“Making production fast, local and flexible. That’s what we at Parts on Demand do with industrial 3D printing. As volumes grow and products are more similar, our sorting process becomes more complex and takes up valuable time. The further development of a system to automatically sort and process these types of ‘custom series’ is essential; it makes for a more scalable process. In addition, our colleagues get more time for what they are really good at – improving the products and production of our customers,” says Neil van Es, CEO at Parts On Demand.
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