Laser Sintering Machine Control

ProtoLink helped a company that manufactures laser sintering rapid prototyping machines port a suite of UNIX applications to the Windows platform.

A manufacturer of rapid prototyping machines turned to ProtoLink for assistance with porting their sophisticated machine control software from UNIX to Windows.  The machines use a process known as selective laser sintering to create 3D objects from computer-aided design (CAD) data.

The company had an existing suite of UNIX applications that controlled the machines and provided the interface for machine operators.  ProtoLink architected and jump-started the implementation of the port from UNIX to Windows.  A ProtoLink-designed multithreaded message queuing system served as the foundation for the new applications.

Pleased with the initial porting effort, the company subsequently contracted ProtoLink to develop additional complementary applications that facilitated remote monitoring of the machines.  The first of these applications allows authorized personnel to configure a set of actions to be taken at various stages in the build process or if an alarm condition is detected.  Possible actions include notifying support personnel through either an e-mail or page, and launching additional processes for the purpose of gathering diagnostic information or transitioning to a new phase of the build.  A second application gives remote users limited view-only access to the operator interface of the machine.

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