Open Additive, LLC, and Addiguru, LLC, have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize their collaboration towards more open and affordable industrial process monitoring and control for metal additive manufacturing (AM).
To date, the proliferation of metal AM (3D printing) across industries has been hindered by the substantial added costs of process development, failed builds, and post-build inspections. A variety of machine-specific and machine-independent in-situ monitoring technologies have been introduced at various technology readiness levels in recent years to address process control needs. While other commercial offerings in this space tend to be very expensive, highly proprietary, or both, Open Additive and Addiguru have each taken the approach towards more affordable and versatile product solutions.
For AM process monitoring, Open Additive has commercialized its AMSENSE® multi-sensor data collection and analysis platform, first delivered in beta form to external customers in 2018. Over the last several years, the open-architecture suite has been demonstrated as an add-on capability on a variety of industrial laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) systems, from EOS, Concept Laser, 3D Systems, and Open Additive, primarily to collect data for research and development needs. AMSENSE is a modular hardware/software platform with the ability to integrate various sensors and analytics as needed. In the last year, Open Additive has commercially sold various configurations for use on its own PANDA™ system as well as EOS machines, including the M400-1.
Addiguru, the New Orleans-based startup, is focused on layerwise real-time monitoring to provide process insights and reduce production costs for AM service bureaus and other industry users. The company’s software uses computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) methods to identify critical process errors and send real-time alerts to save production time and costs. Addiguru has worked with a number of partners to demonstrate its process monitoring capabilities across several important industrial machines including the EOS M290. The software has been commercialized for use on a subscription basis.
Open Additive and Addiguru are working together to integrate Addiguru’s analysis software directly within Open Additive’s AMSENSE environment, as an integrated capability aimed at industrial users. Both Open Additive and Addiguru are active members of America Makes, the national additive manufacturing innovation institute, headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio. Under an America Makes project funded by the U.S. Air Force (“Open Analytics Platform for Multi-Sensor In-Situ Monitoring”), the companies are working together, along with project partner Wright State University, to demonstrate Addiguru’s AI-based analytic to detect critical build errors on a commercial L-PBF machine. This integration is well underway, serving as the first demonstration of AI-based analytics in an open-architecture multi-sensor monitoring platform.
Under terms of the MOU, the two U.S.-based small businesses formalized their intent to offer their respective process monitoring capabilities as a combined product solution for the commercial marketplace, anticipated to be available starting May 2021. The companies plan to work with AM service bureau and other industrial partners to develop and demonstrate use cases for this combined process monitoring capability. This is a non-exclusive partnership, allowing users the option to purchase AMSENSE and/or Addiguru’s monitoring solution, either independently or in combination.
“The addition of Addiguru’s real-time analytics represents an important step-change in the evolution of our AMSENSE product, which has been designed from the outset to allow easy integration of emerging capabilities, developed both internally and externally,” said Dr. Tom Spears, Open Additive’s Director of Research and Technology. “Addiguru recognizes the high added costs of part development and production due to lack of useful process insights and controls,” added Addiguru’s founder, Shuchi “SK” Khurana, “and we’re excited to work with Open Additive to bring practical and affordable solutions to the metal AM industry to address this problem.”