This is a guest contribution by Vasilii Kiselev, Founder and CEO at Top3DGroup
The AI-Powered 3D Printer
Scientists have been obsessed with Artificial Intelligence (AI) ever since the term was defined. Billions of dollars and years of research later (and with a lot of work still lying ahead), the progress in the field of Artificial Intelligence is significant and the common things featuring AI no longer sound like something out of a science fiction novel. An AI-powered 3D printer would be among the great breakthroughs.
The vision of the future already involves using smart technologies integrated nearly into anything. At the same time, the technology of 3D printing is evolving, taking its place in both industrial and home settings. The engineers of a British startup named Ai Build decided to mix these technologies together because a possible result would be a perfect tool for manufacturing that requires little to no human involvement.
AI in 3D Printing
Those were the intentions with which the developers started working on the AI-powered 3D printer that will showcase the strongest points of both technologies. To prove that it works, Ai Build worked with experts from Arup and manufactured an impressive design object named “Daedalus Pavilion”. It was shown at the GPU Technology Conference in Amsterdam.
Its width and length are 5 x 5 meters, while the height is 4.5 meters. Manufacturing required more than 160 kg of biodegradable Formfutura plastic. The product consists of 48 separate elegantly shaped parts. When joined together, they look like either a spider web or a dragonfly wings pattern.
3D Technologies and AI
For this project, the engineers utilized a method that recently became rather common: using an industrial robotic manipulator arm KUKA as a 3D printer. The machine was programmed to 3D print using AI algorithms. The device is equipped with cameras that help analyze the process in real time for further optimization.
This important step allows the manipulator not only to mechanically reproduce required actions but also to monitor the process and prevent the mistakes from happening, as well as fix them. The decision to equip the printer with fans that would cool the object during the printing process proved to be useful. This cut the solidification time and in turn cut the manufacturing time.
Finishing 3D printing of 48 separate parts of the pavilion took 15 days. The assembling took half a day. Obviously, this is a direct result of the technological potential of the Ai Build solution. It’s worth mentioning that it’s unique and there are no equivalent technologies on the current market. At its core, this AI-powered 3D printer is a concept successfully brought to life, while Daedalus Pavilion is nothing more than an experimental product.
The Project Results
The developers were worried about the fact that the market lacks any large-scale effective industrial 3D printing platform with versatile software. This is how such an unusual project came to be. The developers think that the resulting device shows what the future of architecture and design looks like while offering an unprecedented range of creative possibilities to professionals.
Overall, Ai Build is very interested in Artificial Intelligence. The engineers think about using AI technologies in ways other than integrating them into 3D printing. Their main dream is to create a smart home with the tech of the new generation. They are already working on ways to bring this concept to life. It’s based on developing a simple and available digital platform with AI which will control household items.
According to the Ai Build plan, the system could be controlled with voice commands or gestures. There is no doubt that this futuristic project will look interesting.