Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing are both prominent technologies that develop and grow all year round. Vast developments have been made with these technologies, and there are a number of cases where they can help or complement each other.
A recent interesting article by drupa is exploring the ways these two technologies can work together. For instance, AI might be a great solution for a major challenge in additive manufacturing, which is the need for extreme precision and reproducibility in 3D-printed parts.
A team from the College of Science in Purdue developed a model-building algorithm for geometric accuracy control. This achievement could potentially improve part printing, as it can quickly correct computer-aided design models, produce parts with improved geometric accuracy, and even lead to improved consistency, assuring parts will perform the same way even if printed on a different machine.
Another area where AI and 3D printing can work together is defect detection. Using AI in 3D printing could help avoiding errors and even optimize the printing process. A real-time control by the AI could find defects and considerably reduce time and material waste.
AI is also a huge factor in the process of inventing new materials with superior functions. It helps scientists and engineers design materials that are stronger, lighter, more flexible, and less expensive to manufacture, thus addressing the key challenges the industry has to tackle.
Machine learning and predictive modelling (both powerful subsets of AI), are being used to accelerate the discovery of new materials. Designers can simply enter the desired properties into a program and algorithms predict which chemical building blocks can be combined at a micro level to create a structure with the desired functions and properties.
At the moment, 3D printing is still quite a complex process, and AI can improve it and make it even more efficient. There is a great chance that the combination of Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing will lead to new applications in the additive manufacturing technology field.