Why I Joined Dyndrite – Kristin Mulherin
To create true “Smart Factories” - with intelligent automation, robotics and 3D printing - the additive manufacturing industry must accelerate the advancement of our software disproportionately to the advancements of the hardware.
If additive manufacturing, as an industry, is to be a key part of digital transformation of manufacturing, we need to accelerate the advancement of the cyber-physical systems that make up the additive manufacturing workflow. Whether it’s the digital thread, digital twins, or digital manufacturing in general, the most direct way to bring additive manufacturing into the mainstream is through its software.
Oddly, there is still limited discussion on this topic. For example, the 2020 Wohlers Report (long considered the bible of AM) only dedicates 5 of its 385 pages to “AM-Related Software”. The question is:
If we all agree that advanced software is necessary for Additive Manufacturing to become a mainstream production technology, why are we still putting so little focus on it?
Is it a lack of foundational knowledge? Simply not as interesting as seeing lasers dance across a layer of powdered metal or plastic? Our reliance on the status quo? Or something else altogether? I intend to find out – and fix it!
One thing is clear – we can only advance the hardware so much without advancing the software that drives it.
- Designing with unlimited freedom is fantastic, but only if it’s printable. The printer must have the capability to create advanced tool-pathing whilst also processing all those terabytes of data.
- Printing nylon, aluminum, and zirconia is wonderful, but why are the printers not capable of expedited qualification and parameter development for new materials?
- Integrating multiple lasers can only provide so much gain if the slicing and transformation of the CAD files takes hours or even days.
I was inspired by Sam O’Leary, CEO at SLM Solutions, who during Dyndrite’s Developer event, said:
“I can print faster than the data can be prepared. In what world is this a reality that the speed of the hardware process can exceed the speed of the software process? This, of course, is a situation that needs to be solved.”
Well, I want to be a part of that solution. This is why I joined Dyndrite.
As Head of Market Development, my goal is to pull together the actual end-users - the ones that want to print production-scale (and quality!) parts. Together we can identify what digital capabilities are really needed to truly accelerate and advance the state of the industry.
By understanding this, we can then effectively guide the machine builders in utilizing Dyndrite’s Accelerated Computational Engine to enable the processing of increasingly complex and huge amounts of data – all without employing an expansive software team or having to share IP.
Having worked throughout the additive manufacturing ecosystem – from printer manufacturers, to materials providers, to service bureaus – I have found the one common denominator is everyone’s willingness to work together to accelerate and advance the industry. In my role at Dyndrite, I am fortunate enough to be able to specifically focus on facilitating this collaboration.
As Adobe’s Postscript did for the advancement of 2D printing, I sincerely believe Dyndrite’s engine will be pivotal in 3D printing: bringing the digital transformation that will make additive manufacturing a significant mainstream production technology.
Simply put: I must be a part of it.
Dyndrite is hiring. Visit our careers page to find out more.