May 23, 2017 | By Tess

3D printing giant 3D Systems has announced plans to integrate PTC’s ThingWorx Platform into its 3D printing systems. The new tool will enable users to closely and smartly monitor their 3D printers, as well access remote service and maintenance.

Headquartered in Rock Hill, South Carolina, 3D Systems has become one of the most recognizable brands in the 3D printing world. Alongside other big companies like Stratasys, 3D Systems’ additive manufacturing offering includes polymer and metal 3D printing solutions, as well as digital design and printing software.

Now, having announced its plans to embed the ThingWorx Platform into its 3D printing solutions, the 3D printing company is reportedly “enhancing its ecosystem of software and hardware to meet production customer needs for end-to-end manufacturing workflows.”

The ThingWorx Platform, developed by digital design and IoT specialist PTC, will allow 3D Systems users to keeps tabs on their 3D printer and print jobs using “real time dashboards.” These dashboards will give feedback to users about the machine’s utilization and material status.

3D Systems also says the new platform will help it to remotely service 3D printers when there is an issue—by allowing the company a greater visibility into the service requirements of the printer in question. This particular feature, it says, will help to speed up repairs and increase overall productivity.

“We believe the capabilities enabled through ThingWorx technology can help us deliver the machine uptime required in production environments,” commented Carol Zampell, vice president of Software at 3D Systems. “This will enable our customers to gain a distinct business advantage through improved resource utilization, business insight, and overall gains in productivity.”

The integration of PTC’s ThingWorx Platform is undoubtedly a step towards bringing 3D printing tech into the realm of production manufacturing, which 3D Systems and many other 3D printing companies have been striving for.

Prior to this announcement, 3D Systems and PTC also worked together to integrate the former’s 3D Spring SDK with PTC’s flagship Creo CAD platform. The software features extensive print management tools and CAD-to-print functionality.

“PTC has a long-standing relationship with 3D Systems, and we are excited to continue expanding the collaborative and innovative work by enabling their printers to be smart, connected products,” said Mike Campbell, executive vice president, ThingWorx Platform, PTC. “We support their vision to the business value and opportunity that exists in 3D printing as an industry, and the power the IoT can have in driving that further.”

3D Systems and PTC will be showcasing their combined additive manufacturing technologies this week at the LiveWorx technology conference in Boston. The event, which hosts a number of different “connected world” technologies and solutions, is running until May 25, 2017. Those who can’t make it can benefit from a free live stream of the event.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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