Link3D, which develops workflow software for additive manufacturing, has released a new Material Tracking System module for its Additive MES Workflow Software.
This gives users a degree of traceability throughout the 3D printing production process by managing material and consumable serial numbers, batches, and order quantities and to trace the materials used back to each printed part. It allows users to track the documentation around their materials, such as spec sheets and quality analysis and can help with procurement planning of materials based on usage and inventory.
Materials handling is absolutely crucial for additive manufacturing, where any problems with the materials can affect the final quality of the printed part. In many cases where the material properties have to be certified, such as for some aerospace parts, the ability to trace the materials used in individual parts is extremely important.
This sort of thing will be familiar to anyone involved in printing pharmaceutical labels and packaging, where serial track and trace systems have been mandatory for several years now in many parts of the world as a way of combating counterfeit medicines. This has been driven by the widespread adoption of the internationally accepted ANSI/ISA S95 standard, which has provided a common framework.
Several additive manufacturing software systems also offer some form of track and trace but not to the depth that is common in handling pharmaceuticals. Then again, additive manufacturing is still a developing technology and this is one of those areas where a lot of work is still needed. So this new Material Tracking System is a good step forward.
Vishal Singh, CTO & co-founder of Link3D, explained: “The goal of this module is to help organizations create better traceability of printed parts in relation to materials used during the run. Having higher control of material tracking will help create repeatable processes to maximize the return on production. Different modules are interconnected to create a data graph.” You can find further details on link3d.co.