Handddle, a French startup specializing in the development of additive manufacturing (AM) solutions optimized for the industrial internet of things (IIoT), announced that it has renewed a partnership with the French Air and Space Force. In April, 2022, Handddle installed one of its Smart Farm micro-factories at the French Air and Space Force’s National 3D Printing Pole (PNI3D).
The Smart Farm is a temperature- and noise-controlled enclosure for 3D printers and post-processing equipment, integrated with Handddle’s proprietary digital workflow software platform, designed to facilitate automated quality control. The Smart Farm is machine agnostic, though the company also has a direct working relationship with 3D printing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as Markforged. Via the partnership renewal with the French military, Handddle has installed two additional Smart Farms at PNI3D.
As Handddle also notes in the press release, its experience with the French military has given the company invaluable feedback relevant to further evolving both its hardware and software platforms. On that count, Handddle’s ability to successfully deliver results is implied by the French Air and Space Force’s growing interest in the Smart Farm.
According to Handddle, the Smart Farm improves repeatability of printed parts by nearly 40 percent. Precisely that consideration is rising to the forefront of concerns for businesses and organizations interested in AM, amidst the industry’s preparation for an impending scale-up over the next decade. Indeed, one of the primary reasons why AM customers outside of the defense sector pay special attention to militaries’ preferred OEMs is because applications for defense require, and thereby also catalyze, rapid standardization.
Another main factor driving the broader AM customer base toward the companies favored by militaries can be explained in terms of ruggedization: the tailoring of AM platforms such that they can operate satisfactorily in extreme environments. In that vein, the niche Handddle occupies — making products that make other companies’ products work as well as possible — will be indispensable in the actualization of 3D printing’s potential to become the cornerstone of distributed manufacturing networks.
Images courtesy of Handddle