GROW originated when Within Technology (founded by Dr. Siavash Mahdavi) was successfully acquired by Autodesk in 2014. Within became an integral part of Autodesk’s Dreamweaver technology, revolutionising 3D product design for their users. GROW’s technology was formed inside Within Labs in response to the challenges of Distributed Manufacturing they were facing as one of it’s pioneers. There was the need to protect the highly-optimised, generated lattice models, from the designer all the way into to the Additive machine. When Within joined Autodesk, GROW was spun out under the leadership of Dr. Mahdavi to bring that Secure Distributed Manufacturing solutions to the wider Additive industry.
The advent of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology causes more and more industries to re-think their manufacturing and supply chain. Thanks to industrial Additive solutions, cost-effective distributed local production will soon be possible, significantly reducing downtime, logistic costs and inventory sizes. Additive brings a massive value shift to the design: in many industries, customized product designs have high intellectual value, but do not have automatic legal protections. Unfortunately, implementation of distributed manufacturing comes with many challenges, and intellectual property isn’t the only concern. There is also the need for consistent control of manufacturing process options, auditing of authorised builds and quality assurance reviews of build data.
This is why it’s important to take measures to secure the design files and build process instructions, especially within metal AM. When using distributed manufacturing, how do we make sure the manufacturer (intentionally or not) cannot intervene in the design of a parameter sensitive product? As a result of these concerns, only 1% of all parts are manufactured using distributed AM, despite its growing advantages and reduced cost.
GROW has been ahead of the curve in working on solutions to Secure Distributed Manufacturing for several years now, even before the Additive industry widely acknowledged the need for it. GROW technology has provided security and control for thousands of production parts made using the Within Medical software and is well placed to now provide this solution for the aerospace and automotive industries.