Given how long some 3D-printing builds can take, most people don’t sit around and watch the entire process. This means they may miss printing errors, which waste a lot of filament. AIMS, however, reportedly uses AI to spot errors and stop the printer.
Designed by California startup Delcos Systems, AIMS (Autonomous Intelligent Management System) is a small device equipped with an adjustable-angle wide-angle camera and an Arm Cortex A53 processor. It runs off of mains power via a USB cable, and plugs into a third-party printer’s filament runout sensor – assuming the printer has one, or can be fitted with one.
Once a print job is underway, AIMS uses its camera to monitor the movement and position of the print head, and to monitor the overall printing process. Utilizing a pre-trained offline neural network to analyze what it “sees,” it’s reportedly able to detect errors such as the printed item slipping off the build plate, excessive stringing of the molten filament, skipping or sticking of the print head, and filament runout.
When such an error is detected, AIMS triggers the filament runout sensor, stopping the printer within about 15 to 20 seconds. The whole system is self-contained, so no internet access is required.
Should you be interested, AIMS is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$94 will get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $120.
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