With an increasing demand for its additive manufacturing technologies from students and external users alike, the university’s AM department needed an efficient way to manage its request handling and production management processes. So how is AHO using AMFG’s automation software to achieve this?
Overcoming manual, time-intensive processes
AHO has a wide range of additive manufacturing technologies, including several SLS, FDM and SLA machines, enabling the preparation, printing and post-processing of 3D models. The department also has an arsenal of smaller 3D printers at its disposal, including a number of Ultimakers, with which students are able to print their own projects.
With such a large number of AM systems and incoming requests, the university’s AM department needed an efficient way of processing these orders, as well as streamlining the overall production process.
“We’ve been looking for a way to automate our academic workflows for projects requiring additive manufacturing services for some time,” explains PHD Fellow, William Kempton. “For example, we were looking for a system that could allow us to handle 3D models and communicate directly with those who send in files.”
Before, AHO students would either have to manually take their STL files to the AM department on USB sticks or send them via email. A member of staff within the department would then inform them of the cost and send the files to production. This process was manual and time-intensive, particularly as the files included complex architectural models, making the manual data checking process even more laborious and time-consuming.
Another challenge AHO experienced was tracking the status of each incoming request, making it increasingly difficult to gain transparency across the workflow.
The AHO team was therefore looking for workflow management software that could efficiently process incoming requests, allow staff to communicate key details to users and track the production process at every stage.