Last week I was able to visit one of my favorite cities, Chicago, to attend my first International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). The biennial event is the largest and longest running industry trade show in the Western Hemisphere, and after IMTS was canceled and turned into a digital event in 2020 due to the pandemic, everyone in manufacturing was delighted with his triumphant return to McCormick Place this year. At last check, IMTS was reporting over 85,100 registrations for the 2022 show, which included nine specific pavilions on controls and CAD-CAM, quality assurance, metal removal, additive manufacturing, and more.
CASTOR collaborates on the Materialize CO-AM 3D printing platform
I was only there for a day and a half, so I made lots of quick stops to try and visit as many stalls as possible. One of my first visits was with CASTOR, where I spoke with Account Manager Dvir Perl and Business Development Manager Angeliki Malizou, who said it was a great show. CASTOR is an Israel-based automated 3D printing software company that helps manufacturers identify cost reduction opportunities made possible by using industrial 3D printing.
“Here we show our software, which helps manufacturers find which parts make sense for 3D printing or not,” Malizou told me at IMTS.
CASTOR’s mission is to optimize manufacturing by using its unique software to automatically identify parts suitable for AM, and even analyzing 2D files for 3D printability. The startup can not only determine the printability of files and parts, but also improve sustainability by determining the amount of CO2 emissions that can be saved by using 3D printing rather than traditional manufacturing.
CASTOR also partners with other AM companies to promote connectivity and seamless processes within the industry, and one of its most recent collaborations is with Materialize (Nasdaq: MTLS). This spring, the AM software leader announced its CO-AM platform, an open software tool that integrates offerings from different cloud-based software vendors for more efficient management of the overall AM process. The platform offers cloud-based access to several software tools for planning, managing and optimizing AM operations. Thus, users can work on build preparation with Stratasys’ Materialize Magics or GrabCAD software, and third-party applications are also available, including tools from AM-Flow to automatically track and group parts, and CASTOR to analyze parts for 3D printability.
“CASTOR is one of the first applications with CO-AM, it helps the user to create their own workflow,” Malizou told me at IMTS.
She also said that one of the highlights of CASTOR at IMTS was the opportunity to present its collaboration with the Materialize CO-AM platform in two joint demonstrations.
Dyndrite welcomes Sigma Additive Solutions to its 3D printing board
I also had the opportunity to stop by the Dyndrite booth at IMTS and speak briefly with the Director of Marketing, Shawn Hopwood. The Seattle-based startup offers a GPU-accelerated computing engine for building digital manufacturing hardware and software, and its contributions to advanced manufacturing led to Dyndrite being named a 2021 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.
As Hopwood told me, Dyndrite was at IMTS to showcase its Application Development Kit (ADK), which machine developers use to “create very powerful applications” based on four use cases. specific: CAM additive construction preparation, process and calibration, materials and process development and automated production lines.
“Our premise is to build high-end software for the additive market so that we can move into a production-focused initiative,” he continued.
The ADK contains all the tools needed to customize a software application to a manufacturer’s unique machine, process, and user experience, directly reflecting the value and brand of the product.
Dyndrite’s big announcement at IMTS was the latest addition to its Dyndrite Developer Council (DDC), which Hopwood says is “made up of companies that are taking production to another level for the additive,” such such as HP, ExOne, Essentium, Renishaw, Trumpf, AddUp, Impossible Objects, 3D Systems, etc. This CTO-led, invitation-only organization leverages the combined business and technical expertise of its more than 25 member companies to advance the digital manufacturing industry, and the newest member is Sigma Additive Solutions, which provides in-process quality assurance (IPQA) solutions to the AM industry.
Manufacturing processes need to be monitored in situ for a number of reasons, and Sigma Additive Solutions provides this capability through its PrintRite3D solution, also available as an add-on for polymer and laser powder bed fusion machines. As Hopwood explained, the new DDC member “seeks to build tools on top of our platform” to enable in-situ monitoring of additive manufacturing.
Stay tuned for more IMTS 2022 news! In the meantime, enjoy these photos I took at the Happy Hour hosted by Women in 3D Printing on the rooftop of McCormick Place:
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