The benefits of data-driven 3D printing for the supply chain

3D printing has come a long way from its origins as a novelty item creator to a high-performance machine for creating complex and intricate parts. Thanks to the advent of Industry 4.0 and the digitization of the manufacturing sector, 3D printing has graduated into a data collection hub that gathers vast amounts of information about how different parts are built during the fabrication process. As connected 3D printers become increasingly sophisticated, they can use the collected data to power artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, resulting in more automated and data-driven decision-making processes that benefit the entire supply chain. 

With the ability to connect to digital catalogs of existing parts, data-driven 3D printers can detect which specific parts are the best candidates for additive manufacturing techniques. By using machine learning, they can automatically generate tooling jigs or fixtures to hold the parts they print, eliminating the need for time-consuming manual tasks. In addition, AI is employed in additive manufacturing to detect print failures and inspect parts as they’re being printed, ensuring quality and conformance. 

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