Exclusive Interview: Interspectral CEO Isabelle Hachette on Optimizing Process Monitoring with AM Explorer at Formnext 2023


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Formnext 2023 was the platform for many software companies to display their 3D printing software.

A prominent example was Interspectral, a company providing a product called AM Explorer. This software is designed for process monitoring and quality assurance in the field of metal additive manufacturing.

Interviews at Formnext 2023 with Interspectral’s CEO, Isabelle Hachette, provided deeper insights into the software and the company’s future plans for its further development.

Introduced to the market in 2020, AM Explorer is a visualization tool, enabling users to simulate, keep track of, and scrutinize data from metal additive manufacturing processes.

AM Explorer offers extensive compatibility within the metal 3D printing sector, with a focus on optimization for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) and direct energy deposition (DED) technologies.

“Our software delivers quality assurance for metal additive manufacturing and the 4.0 industry,” Hachette clarified. “We specialize in managing complex data, collating it into a coherent and easily understandable digital twin.”

Formnext saw the announcement by the Sweden-based company of a fresh integration with the EOSCONNECT Core platform. This new connection is projected to amplify the process monitoring capacity of EOS customers in fields such as aerospace, space, defense, and automotive applications.

At Formnext 2023, Interspectral CEO Isabelle Hachette was present. This was covered by the 3D Printing Industry.

Interspectral’s AM Explorer software

AM Explorer’s development initially began in 2017, stemming from a collaboration between Interspectral and the industrial manufacturing firm Siemens Energy. These two corporations came together to create a 3D visualization tool aimed at improving the creation and design of 3D printed components used in industrial turbine repairs. AM Explorer was officially launched two years later in 2019, and made fully available on the market in 2020.

Since its inception, Hachette has reported that AM Explorer has been widely well-received. “In terms of innovation, we’ve been recognized as a key player because we brought forth the necessary knowledge that the industry was previously lacking.”

AM Explorer facilitates the construction of multi-channel digital twins. This allows users to replicate and digitally simulate their additive manufacturing processes in real time. Within AM Explorer, digital twins can be used in conjunction with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), offering a more interactive experience with the process simulation.

According to Hachette, “You can have a build plate, and you can also have a digital twin of the build plate, and then you can interact with that. You can manufacture not only the physical component but also the digital twin.” For instance, Hachette pointed to a use case whereby a digital twin was generated during the development of an industrial turbine. The digital twin and VR capabilities of AM Explorer allowed engineers and designers to inspect the turbine on a mobile phone through the cloud. Moreover, the AR capabilities allow digital twins to be viewed and manipulated in real-world environments. 

Optimizing the efficiency of metal additive manufacturing 

At the core of Interspectral’s software is increasing the efficiency and ease at which users can monitor and analyze the metal additive manufacturing process. 

Indeed, Hachette emphasized that AM Explorer is particularly suitable for serial production applications.

“If you are working on a complex build job with about 135 components and you spot a mistake, it’s unlikely that the entire job is flawed, maybe only nine components have errors,” Hachette explained. “AM Explorer can pinpoint exactly which components are defective. Instead of discarding the entire print job, you can only get rid of the erroneous components.”

Hence, Hachette highlighted the substantial time and cost savings provided by AM Explorer for LPBF processes. “Based on the use case, but our experience shows that you can save up to €500,000 annually with ten machines.”

Moreover, Hachette mentioned that this software is not vendor-specific, which means that customers “need to use just one software to qualify and assure their components on multiple 3D printers.” This aspect makes AM Explorer particularly suitable for large-scale additive manufacturing applications where several metal 3D printers are employed simultaneously, leading to time and cost savings.

Ultimately, Hachette sees developments in 3D printing software as playing an increasingly important role within additive manufacturing, especially with regard to making advancements in hardware. 

“Additive manufacturing is a developing industry, and there’s been a lot of focus in hardware, and doing the hardware right, which is very complicated,” Hachette explained. “Now comes to the next stage, where we need to have really good software today to make sure that the hardware is right.” 

Looking to the future, Interspectral is working to increase the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into its software offering next year as part of a strategic initiative. “The next step in the roadmap is an AI intelligent decision support system that we are working on now quite intensively with R&D,” added Hachette. 

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Interspectral CEO Isabelle Hachette, and Interspectral software. Photo via Interspectral.

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Integration with EOS

During Formnext, Interspectral made the announcement of the introduction of an EOSCONNECT Core integration module in AM Explorer. This provides EOS customers direct access to extensive process monitoring data from EOS 3D printers within AM Explorer.

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