Artificial intelligence and 3D printing

Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing: Meet the future of manufacturing

Posted By on Oct 24, 2018 |

It is sure now, Artificial Intelligence is part of our future and already allowing to create really advanced devices. But do you know that the 3D printing technology can also make the most of AI? 3D printing is a game-changing technology, constantly evolving and finding new ways to improve itself. It now includes new amazing technologies like Artificial Intelligence. This combination of Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing could lead to new amazing applications of the additive manufacturing technology.

What can be made? How can 3D printing and Artificial Intelligence work together? Find all the answers to your questions in this blog post.


What is Artificial Intelligence?


Artificial Intelligence is a form of intelligence demonstrated by machines, it is sometimes called machine intelligence. Machines are able to learn and get information, in order to reason and reach conclusion. This way, these devices can perform advanced tasks.

These machines using AI imitate intelligent human behavior. This AI and automation process can be implemented in a lot of different processes. And once again, additive manufacturing is not an exception.  

3D printing is a complex process, and AI could considerably help to improve it making this technology even more efficient.

Applications of AI with 3D printing


AI in 3D software


In order to 3D print your project, you will necessarily have to work on your 3D model using a CAD software. AI will be more and more included in these 3D modeling programs in order to help you create the best 3D printable models.

Solidworks recently unveiled Solidworks Xdesign, a great tool using AI, while Autodesk developed Dream Catcher a tool allowing to work on regenerative designs. It is able to generate hundreds of designs in only a few hours using this program.

It is a great way to develop tools able to find defects inside a 3D model, which could make it non-printable. This use of AI could be a perfect solution to start your 3D printing project with viable 3D models.



Defect detection thanks to AI


Artificial Intelligence could clearly help to improve the printing process and avoid errors. There is always this will to improve the additive manufacturing process in order to get the best parts possible.

General Electric’s GE labs in New York began to develop a computer vision technology allowing to spot microscopic cracks in machine parts. AI and machine learning can also be used in the 3D printer after their printing process. It is allowing to detect problems directly, and improve the quality control of the 3D printed parts!

We could even go further, and reach a real-time control! It could considerably reduce time and materials waste. If we already know that 3D printing is a time-saving manufacturing technique, with improvements made using AI, it could become even more powerful.  


AI, part of the factory of the future?

Artificial Intelligence could clearly be included in a 3D printing factory and change the future of manufacturing.

AI Build is a company based in London, developed an automated AI-based 3D printing technology, with a smart extruder, allowing to detect any problems. It is also able to make autonomous decisions. It is a large-scale 3D printing platform using industrial robots and machine learning software.

The possibility of autonomous 3D printing factories is now a reality and it will be a time-saving revolution. Indeed, companies time and resources could be focused on other tasks. Using robotic and automatic arms able to take its own decision and print viable parts, without any problems, is a true revolution.

AI Build is working on machines able to see, create and learn from their own mistakes and create really intricate structures! It could clearly help the additive manufacturing technology to go further. It is not the first time that we hear about AI Build. In 2016 the start-up already unveiled an impressive 3D machine with little cameras on the robots, using machine vision algorithms.

The goal was to create a feedback loop between the physical environment and the digital environment” explains AI Build’s CEO, Daghan Cam. Using this system, the machine was able to see defects and compensate with additional layers.  

AI and 3D printing have a great future together. The 3D printing technology itself can be improved, and we can say that the future of 3D printing factories is really promising. The printing processes will be more and more efficient and take less time, with a great reduction of problems.


Do you want to read more about 3D printing and Artificial Intelligence? Check out our blog post about the European Space Agency, who decided to 3D print 3D models of asteroids from the solar system using Artificial Intelligence.


If you want more news about the improvement of 3D printing technology, be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.  

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