AI (Artificial Intelligence) integration in different sectors can take technological advancement to the next level, and 3D printing is not an exception. Already, numerous industries are trying to make the best of additive manufacturing, AI, and Machine Learning to improve the speed of operations without additional costs. AI is not limited to sci-fi and chatbots anymore. New developments in additive manufacturing and other disruptive technologies of the future are planning to offer convenience for all. Bringing these two together can help up development in unprecedented ways.

For example, if you wish to build a stronger, sturdier, and durable bridge for transport, using new materials can be helpful. With AI-integrated 3D printers, these structures can be created faster, without much hassle. Biomedical implants that self-regenerate can be printed using these technologies to help improve the scope of healthcare. In this sector, AI and 3D-printing can also go the extra mile to detect and resolve issues in 3D printed models. In a 3D-printed robotic limb, AI can be used to detect issues, ensure precision, and improve efficiency. It can also enhance the quality of these 3D printed models by detecting issues in the initial stages and taking decisions immediately.

Additive manufacturing is essentially a computer-aided design process that meets every complexity of structural integrity. Various geometric shapes and designs can be printed, and AI can help expand the possibilities of additive manufacturing. In this post, we will try to understand how Artificial Intelligence can increase the applications of 3D printing and make the process more hassle-free.

What are the benefits of combining AI and 3D Printing?

Before getting into the details of the benefits of an AI-driven additive manufacturing technology, one should first observe both the technologies and their applications closely. Let us shed some light:

Artificial Intelligence or Machine Intelligence is a kind of human-like behavior depicted by machines. When the machines can analyze, derive information, and take decisions, we call it artificial or derived intelligence. For example, chatbots can communicate with real people, analyze customer behavior, and even resolve simple queries. They have been developed in a way to mimic human responses in different situations. AI can be integrated into different sectors to increase automation and reduce the need for human labor. Additive manufacturing is one such sector, which can be automated with machine intelligence. As 3D printing is a complicated and end-to-end technical process, futuristic skills are required for maximum operational success. If one uses AI to automate the process, efficiency will improve by leaps and bounds, while costs and time will get reduced to a minimum. Let us now ponder what areas AI can improve in 3D printing to increase chances of success.

Defect detection

AI can help identify defects in 3D models better than humans. It can also enhance the printing procedure by minimizing the chances of manual errors. As the objects are printed layer by layer, AI can help find the best parts for printing, and detect issues in the existing models and suggest improvisations. Minute defects in objects can be invisible to the human eye, but an AI-integrated additive manufacturing system can detect those without any hassle. It can go the extra mile to suggest improvements and create a better model. Already a few companies are using AI-integrated platforms in their 3D-printing factories to enhance efficiency and reduce production time and costs.

Increased optimization

Whether or not an object is printable can be analyzed by an AI system. It helps increase control in the printing process and improves functionality. AI can also predict the success rate of a 3D printing process, thus helping manufacturers to make the right decision in time. It can also analyze the various parameters of additive manufacturing, like the costs of printing, the time needed to print each object, and how far will that object mimic the parent one. It can also fix the delivery schedule of the 3D printed components. That helps manufacturers to streamline their processes and prevent losses.

Market popularity

The utilization of robotic technologies also helps create a good impression of additive manufacturing in the industry, thus propelling its popularity. Today, many business owners/operators are still hesitant to transfer their entire manufacturing to 3D-printing because of its drawbacks and the challenges involved. There is also a lack of awareness regarding the technology, which AI can help address effectively. By improving the success rate of the process, it can help take 3D printing to the next level and increase its popularity. Machine Intelligence can also impact the manufacturing industry and reduce hesitance regarding the use of additive manufacturing both at the ground and advanced levels.

Overcoming challenges

3D printing is still in its nascent stages, with several challenges preventing its large-scale utilization. AI can help fix that. It can overcome several challenges that technology faces right now. For example, distortions like material shrinkage or expansion during the printing process, mechanical problems with the models or printing belts, uneven or less-heated printing beds, and disorientation of the layers, can hamper the quality of the printed components. However, AI can help overcome such challenges by ensuring pre-printing conditions and increasing print accuracy. It can also monitor the entire process and prevent shape distortions by stopping the process midway if there are chances of an issue. Without machine learning software or programs, such actions can be quite labor-intensive, and thereby, costly.

Data generation

AI can open doors to increased data generation and analysis to optimize the 3D printing process. Even if the professionals lack specialized knowledge of additive manufacturing, AI-integrated systems can make up for it. Data scientists are expensive, and one cannot expect them to be employed in small-scale sectors, where 3D printing is required. Using AI, manufacturers can get their hands on the mounds of data to increase the efficiency of the process and improve their success rate. It can give way to smarter algorithms to create better quality 3D printed products in no time. Although no one is saying that AI is less expensive than human labor, there are little doubts about its potential and efficiency. When combined with additive manufacturing, the results will be no short of miracles.

Material assessment and expansion

One can use AI to assess every material before subjecting it to 3D printing. As it helps the machines to think and act like real people with smarter minds, proper material assessment can be ensured big time. Investors do not have to worry about wasting their resources on a failed experiment then. Based on generated data and past experiences, AI can help determine the printability of certain materials. They can also set the right conditions to increase the chances of success.

One of the biggest setbacks for additive manufacturing right now is a limitation in material compatibility. AI can change that by expanding the range of printable materials through process assessment and analysis. For example, the aerospace industry requires materials of different temperature levels, while other sectors may require varying densities of components. With an AI-integrated system, one can easily find the right set of materials for printing separate components, or individual objects.

Besides the 3D printing process, AI can help meet deadlines and improve additional activities, e.g., production and supply-supply chain management.

What can be the possible impact of AI + 3D printing on manufacturers?

With 3D printing, manufacturers may cut down production time and expenses to a huge extent. Add to it AI’s high potential to take the process several levels up, and you will see a new dawn in manufacturing. Components costs will decrease, thus benefitting the end customers. Significantly, one may even notice a reduction in prices for certain materials, like tools, equipment, medical devices, etc.

Artificial Intelligence can also help manufacturers rely more on and make the most of 3D printing. They will no longer be hesitant to take on the challenges and overcome those without much difficulty. With an AI-integrated 3D printing platform, both quality and efficiency will be assured, leading to faster and low-cost production. It will also improve the reputation of 3D printing technology in the market.

Increased automation will also prevent manufacturers from breaking their banks and employing specialized experts to manage the printing process. Everything will be automated and machine-managed, giving the manufacturers relief. Apart from that, they will also have enough time and resources to develop operations and focus on business growth.

How can Additive Accelerator help in the entire scenario?

Additive Accelerator has a team of seasoned experts who possess all the know-how of 3D printing and related stuff to give a concrete idea to the business owners/operators. Without prior experience, it can be hard to choose the best 3D printing solution for a business, and these experts can help achieve that goal. We can tailor the best additive manufacturing solution for different businesses and analyze operational and functional challenges to provide effective solutions. In other words, we’re the go-to agency for all your 3D printing queries and expert analysis.