Additive Manufacturing (AM) utilizes 3D printers to create manufactured parts by precisely printing or applying layers of material on top of each other to build a three dimensional product. First used for rapid prototyping and limited to soft materials like plastics, additive manufacturing technologies and their costs have advanced significantly in the past few years making it a viable and affordable option for high volume manufacturing utilizing additional types of materials including many different types of metals, concrete, and other materials.
Many of the leading CAD software products on the market today provide a direct interface to popular 3D printers allowing the part design to connect to the printer essentially creating a print job with instructions for the printing device to know how to print the designed part. This is a great feature for manufacturers utilizing additive manufacturing in their businesses but it fails to connect the data to the ERP business application which needs to understand the material requirements, production lead times, and costs.
CADTALKAM solves this problem integrating to both the CAD software for the bill of materials as well as the 3D printers to capture production results. CADTALK AM relies on other CADTALK modules such as CADTALK ERP and CADTALK AI to transform the engineering bill of material into manufacturing bills of material, routings, and items inside the ERP system. It provides a mechanism to capture production results either directly from the printer or through a labor reporting interface where production employees can report on finished goods production including scrap and recoverable materials such as runners or bridges that are required for supporting the printed structure that are to be removed after production and can be reused as regrind or scrapped with added value to inventory.