HP INCFollow


One of the most important concerns in 3D printing when it scales to a factory environment is the capacity of controlling

the throughput frequency to be able to achieve an optimal production of parts at the right timing in order to maximize

the profit.

In an automated factory with a fleet of 3D printers, the orders received are orchestrated in a linear sequence with several

stages including the packing of the parts inside the printable volume of a build and the build scheduling, which is queued

to be printed in a device of the fleet. As the process of printing a build takes hours, once a build begins the printer won’t

generate any output until it finishes, thus having a low frequency of orders fulfilled leaving the factory to be delivered

to the final clients.

This problem is accentuated when variations in the production arise. In the supply chain, when clients pull from the

factory at a different rate, the fleet of printers is not capable of adapting its scheduling to that changes, as printing time

take hours and it takes long until a batch of orders is accumulated at the output to be delivered.

This problem in printing timing also arises when there are dead periods in which there’s not enough time to schedule a

new build, which leads to unproductive times and lower throughput.

To solve the drawbacks associated to the low flexibility in changing the devices printing time to adapt the production to

changing schedules, we have developed an algorithm that dynamically changes the 3D packing size restrictions to meet

the required printing times. We use the time delta that exists between the moment that orders are packed and the moment

they are printed to reorganize the buckets to meet the required packing heights.

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