Sculpteo announced today a suite of AI-based elements to assist in 3D metal printing.
3D metal printing is a challenging business, as we described in an earlier story. It requires considerable more and different work to succeed than one might require in the more common 3D polymer printing.
Sculpteo’s business is to provide advanced 3D print services to the public and industry and it would not be unreasonable to suggest that metal should be a big part of their future. Therefore, it’s in their interest to ensure their future metal clients have as successful an experience as possible.
But most clients, particularly those unfamiliar with 3D metal printing techniques, might not be able to use Sculpteo’s services effectively without the necessary skills.
This seems to be the driver behind Sculpteo’s announcement of AI-based tools to assist their clients in successful 3D metal printing. Here are the six components of their new suite as described by Sculpteo:
Business Case is the first tool of the suite, and will be unveiled at CES. Business Case is a self-learning AI that evaluates whether a CAD file is optimized for metal additive manufacturing. Business Case helps evaluate appropriate materials, and delivers an approach for cost and time budget for metal AM. Business Case is a decision support and planning tool that takes basic inputs from the user and provides an evaluation of whether AM is an appropriate process for producing the part, and calculates possible risks.
Design Optimizer provides a deeper analysis of the design compatibility for metal AM, and assess the best way to handle thermic constraints. The tool detects features posing issues, suggests design modifications, evaluates the best printing orientation for the part.
Lattice Generator helps meet cost and weight reduction goals by recommending a best structural configuration while allowing the user the option to choose a preferred lattice cell design.
Support Optimizer displays the supports necessary to meet the requirement of the part (tolerance, yield assessment). Expert users will be able to add inputs and restrictions based on the support generated by the Agile Metal Technology platform.
Post-Processor analyzes the post-processing features and required metrology to meet the project requirements, and evaluate how timeline and budget can be met.
Batch Controller is a replica of the Sculpteo batch control tool for metal 3D printing technologies.
I believe this to be a very good idea for Sculpteo and their clients, as they could dramatically increase the success ratio on metal prints. This would ultimately lead to greater confidence by their clients in the service, who would no doubt repeat their business in the future.
For some other 3D metal print services, this announcement could be threatening. A service that doesn’t provide such expertise might have lower success rates and eventually cause the loss of customers.