Materialise, Leuven, Belgium, has introduced CO-AM, an open software platform intended to manage the Additive Manufacturing production process more efficiently. CO-AM will give manufacturers cloud-based access to a full range of software tools that will allow them to plan, manage and optimise every stage of AM operations.
The Materialise CO‑AM software platform is said to mark an important milestone in the company’s strategy to offer cloud-based access to its entire software suite. By providing access to their preferred software in an open, cloud-based platform, CO‑AM is hoped to help manufacturers unlock the full power of Additive Manufacturing.
The open architecture of the platform lets users integrate all of their preferred tools, allowing customers in major manufacturing industries to have access to the latest software innovations and to scale operations based on current needs. At the same time, CO‑AM is intended to provide seamless access to production data, allowing manufacturers to continuously monitor and improve AM workflows.
“This is an important milestone in our history,” stated Bart Van der Schueren, CTO of Materialise. “CO‑AM offers new opportunities for AM users to innovate at unprecedented levels with their preferred software solutions. This open platform will allow the AM community to co-develop solutions that create competitive advantages for individual companies and empower entire industries. At the same time, this business model generates new revenue streams for hardware and software partners.”
At the core of the CO‑AM platform is a data lake that connects to all production tools and keeps track of what is happening on the production floor. The ability to monitor and analyse production data will enable operators to define and store their own unique workflows in a knowledge database, empowering them to continuously improve the production process. This creates an AI-powered learning platform where every additively manufactured part has the potential to be better than the previous one.
Materialise plans to offer over twenty-five software applications on its CO‑AM platform, including seamless integration with Magics; AM Watch for shopfloor data collection, and its Build Processors for connectivity with more than 150 different Additive Manufacturing machines. The company will also open the platform to independent software vendors and has already onboarded several third party applications, including AM-Flow and Castor.
“The next step for change in the AM Industry is automation,” stated Stefan Rink, CEO AM-Flow. “There are many digital dots to connect to create a full automation value chain. Teaming up with other solution providers of this chain is a prerequisite for the growth and scalability of Additive Manufacturing production. AM-Flow is very excited to be one of the first partners of the Materialise CO‑AM platform.”
Omer Blaier, CEO at Castor, added, “Castor is joining forces with Materialise to capture and deliver the full potential of AM to manufacturers. By integrating our solutions on a unified CO‑AM platform, we can offer a unique combination of engineering intelligence and automation, identify suitable candidates for additive manufacturing amongst thousands of parts and go all the way to the final product within one solution, seamlessly.”
Materialise invites AM software vendors to connect their applications to the CO‑AM software platform for selected pilot projects. Development partners will get access to the software development kit, application programming interfaces, and staging environment, enabling them to natively build proprietary or co-developed solutions within the platform.
Materialise is already working with selected customers and plans to provide broader access to the CO‑AM platform over the coming months.