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3D Printing and Artificial Intelligence: Everything You Need To Know

 |  Thomas Lanigan


Combining 3D Printing and Artificial Intelligence

No word has caused as much buzz on the internet as AI, artificial intelligence, and it's been ages since the topic was controversial in any way. It doesn't feel like rocket science anymore, or something straight out from the science fiction movie. Now, it's everywhere. It's an integral part of our everyday lives, and its significance continues to rise.

3D printing is another word that caused quite a stir, and one that has evolved similarly to artificial intelligence. It’s a constantly developing technology, but it is already proving its importance in our daily lives. We can only imagine the changes brought to us by the combination of both of those technologies.

We are already using artificial intelligence to create new and advanced devices, and yet, one of the best ways to make the most out of it is by combining it with 3D printing. And it's a game-changer. 3D printing is constantly evolving and improving in many different ways, be it in speed, quality, and more. There's a lot to unearth when these two are combined, and there's no doubt that they will allow us to bring additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence to new heights.


What’s Artificial Intelligence?

Future artificial intelligence robot and cyborg. Premium Photo

As the name suggests, artificial intelligence is the intelligence displayed and employed by machines. It allows them to gather information and learn from it. It allows them to analyze it and reach a conclusion so they can complete advanced and complex tasks. In some cases, the AI can even imitate human intelligence. There's a lot of different processes that AI and automation could help us improve, and 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is one of them.

The process of 3D printing is quite complex, and so is the technology itself. With the introduction of AI, these processes can be improved, and the technology as a whole can become more precise and efficient.

There are different ways that both these technologies can combine. Some of these, according to a professional writer service, are discussed in this article.

Defect Detection 

As far as defect detection is concerned, we can use the AI in modeling programs with 3D printing technology. Combining them lead us to improved efficiency, higher avoidance of errors, and better optimization of the printing process. We can combine the AI with 3D technology to create tools that can point out defects in designs that can cause issues during printing, as well as those that can make the model not to be printable.

Getting real-time control through artificial intelligence did considerably cut off material waste and reduced time. It is also possible to use AI to directly detect problems at the end of the printing process and work on the printed 3D models to improve quality control.

Some companies have taken it upon themselves to improve this AI-based 3D printing technology. The combination of real-time manufacturing data from the cameras and sensors and the advanced AI algorithm makes it possible to detect problems, and then it makes autonomous decisions towards achieving the best quality of the print it can.


New materials and designs 

Apart from helping with design, artificial intelligence also plays an essential role in inventing new materials, some of which proved superior to the ones we used in the past. Such development enabled engineers and scientists to design completely new classes of materials that are lighter, stronger, and more flexible. Each of those materials helped us solve many of the challenges that the 3D industry faced in the past.

Predictive modeling and machine learning are subsets of artificial intelligence used to accelerate the discovery of these materials. What designers do is enter the properties they want for the material into the software, and then, the AI algorithm calculates the chemical structure required to design a material with preselected properties.


Artificial intelligence in 3D software 

Before you can print your 3D project, you have to use CAD software to work on the 3D model. 3D modeling programs like these will have more AI in them so that designers can create the 3D models that are most printable.

Many of these tools are already built with AI in them to make them more efficient. It is an effective way to use AI to ensure that it can provide solutions to possible problems in your 3D printing.


Precision and reproducibility

One of the significant challenges that the additive manufacturing industry faces is the need for more precision and reproducibility in the 3D printing processes.

Recently, a Purdue College of Science team created a computer application and model-building algorithm for controlling geometric accuracy. Its development brought about quite an improvement in the art of 3D printing.

It can correct computer-aided designs and use them to develop parts with better geometric accuracy. It means that we can print parts that will fit each other as closely as possible, thanks to the designs having the necessary tolerance.

This method brings consistency, so needed in the printing process, and ensures that printed parts will match the same standard, no matter the machine used to print it. And what's more important is that it allows us to print intricate designs that traditional manufacturing processes cannot produce.


Expansion of the range of materials

Another way to combine 3D printing technology and artificial intelligence technology is to increase the range of compatible materials. Doing so will ensure that it can meet the requirements of sectors like aerospace, which has strict standards when it comes to materials. According to Prof. Frank Bruckner of the Fraunhofer Institute, aircraft engines can continue to work at very high temperatures, and they would be more efficient if the materials didn't fail at >1200 degrees.

The creation of high-performance materials undergoes a very complicated process, whose all parameters must be tuned to the minute details, which makes AI more effective for the job. That's why 3D printing is usually well monitored with a variety of sensors, where AI can compile and evaluate the data to find out any deviations that no human could spot so early. It's a major advantage of AI in this process, and it allows researchers to process the complex alloys to maintain the properties of the material.

A combination for the future 

In the years to come, we will see both technologies play considerable roles in different industries as they continue to develop, and they continue to increase in applications. Some experts think that these technologies are connected in more ways than we already think of. According to Eitan Yona, additive manufacturing today needs a high level of knowledge and specialization to produce the different parts. Artificial intelligence will take up an essential part when it comes to the workflow of 3D printing. Soon, algorithms will cut off the time required for manual modeling, which will give us access to a large quantity of data so that 3D technologies can be managed better.

Combining these technologies is still very much in the infancy stage, but it has already proved its great potential. There’s much more that we can expect in the coming years when both technologies have developed well enough together.

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Author Bio 

Thomas Lanigan has work experience for four years in professional dissertation writing services as a marketing specialist, social media manager, writer, journalist, and editor. He is also a professional content writer in such topics as blogging, marketing features, progressive education programs, and business. 

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