Open Additive, LLC, Beavercreek, Ohio, USA, and Addiguru, LLC, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise their collaboration towards more open and affordable industrial process monitoring and control for metal Additive Manufacturing.
To date, the companies explained, the adoption of metal AM 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 -independent in-situ monitoring technologies have been introduced at various technology readiness levels in recent years to address process control needs. While these can be expensive and/or highly proprietary, the partners report that they have developed more affordable and versatile product solutions.
For AM process monitoring, Open Additive has commercialised 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 Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) machines, from EOS, Concept Laser, 3D Systems, and Open Additive, 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 states that it has sold various configurations for use on its own PANDA™ system as well as EOS machines, including the M400-1.
Addiguru is focused on layerwise real-time monitoring to provide process insights and reduce production costs for AM service bureaux 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 commercialised for use on a subscription basis.
Open Additive and Addiguru are now working together to integrate Addiguru’s analysis software directly within Open Additive’s AMSENSE environment as an integrated capability aimed at industrial users. The companies plan to work with AM service bureaux 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.
Both Open Additive and Addiguru are active members of America Makes, and under an America Makes project funded by the US Air Force (Open Analytics Platform for Multi-Sensor In-Situ Monitoring), 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 PBF-LB machine. This integration is well underway, serving as the first demonstration of AI-based analytics in an open-architecture multi-sensor monitoring platform.
Under the terms of the MoU, the two US-based small businesses have formalised 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 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,” stated Dr Tom Spears, Open Additive’s Director of Research and Technology.
“Addiguru recognises 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.”