End-to-End AM Workflow

By Noah Mostow

Additive manufacturing (AM) is not a one-step process. The manufacturing workflow for metal PBF parts can include 10-15 distinct steps and operations. Each one requires tracking and documenting to maintain a record of activity and efficient workflow. As production scales, something would inevitably get lost without a well-developed and proven system.

Companies in the AM industry are developing and adopting manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions for workflow management. MES platforms help plan and monitor every step in the process. These tools will help 3D printing develop into a reliable manufacturing process and expand into the mainstream. Like order tracking at Domino’s Pizza, companies can monitor the entire workflow of AM parts using MES.

 

 

Many small companies have little tracking beyond Excel. In a recent conversation with the CEO of a solutions provider, the executive said the cost for companies to adopt MES is not significant.

Over the past few months, the industry has seen excitement around MES solutions. Materialize acquired the option to buy Link3D, a cloud-based MES company, in July 2021. 3D Systems acquired Oqton in September 2021 for $180 million. At last month’s RAPID + TCT 2021, Markforged released its Eiger Fleet software, a platform for scaling AM operations. Wohlers Associates believes that most users will somehow be impacted by these and other MES offerings in the future, resulting in significant improvements in the AM workflow.

Access

Wohlers Report 2022

Technical, market, and strategic advice on Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing Rapid Product Development

Related Press & News

January 3, 2020

Third-Party Material Producers

The following producers of third-party materials for additive manufacturing (AM) contributed data and insight for use in Wohlers Report 2022. These…

Read More
February 20, 2022

3D Printing at the Winter Olympics

by Noah Mostow This weekend marks the end of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. I am always impressed…

Read More
August 4, 2022

Wohlers Associates Launches New Website, Publishes Wohlers Report Executive Summary

FORT COLLINS, Colo., August 4, 2022 – Wohlers Associates, powered by ASTM International, recently launched a new, more interactive website….

Read More

Learn more about ASTM and AM CoE

ASTM unites with the Wohlers brand to build on its market influence and access to top AM industry decision-makers worldwide.

  • Establish standards, certification, and qualification for repeatable, consistent parts and processes
  • Prevent gaps and duplication of work in a dynamic, fast-paced technology space
  • Identify challenges that can be solved with technological improvement

Research and Development

Under the leadership of the R&D team, the AM CoE partners plan and conduct coordinated R&D projects, prioritized annually and targeted to expedite...

Learn More

Education and Workforce Development

Provide a comprehensive program that educates and trains the additive manufacturing workforce at all levels, while continually incorporating new advances...

Learn More