AM Software

AM Software is the “fourth power” within the end-to-end AM production cycle, together with hardware, materials and applications. The impact of software on the future of digital production is obvious but perhaps it is not yet fully understood where it is that software can affect and contribute to improve and optimize the future of manufacturing.


All digital production inevitably begins with a CAD (Computer Aided Design) model. Therefore CAD (or 3D modeling) software was the first element to emerge the new industrial revolution. As further proof of this, CAD software companies have been taking off in terms of financial performance since AM began to emerge as a production method. Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, Siemens, Altair and Ansys, to name a few of the largest companies in this segment, have been booming. At the same time, all these companies have made some very significant investments in AM and DfAM.


DfAM is the second highly relevant way that software impacts digital production. The acronym stands for “Design for Additive Manufacturing” and indicates all those new approaches to product and part creation that are made possible by the virtually endless geometric possibilities opened up by additive manufacturing. These tools, also known by the acronym CAE (Computer Aided Engineering), include parametric first and later generative software tools that are enabling engineers to create an entirely new generation of bio-inspired products, that are lighter, more complex and way more efficient.


Simulation software is necessary to make sure that these new – never seen before – products do perform as they are intended to, while AM software is also necessary to make sure that the AM hardware transforms into real physical products that which was imagined and then translated into a digital product or – as they are increasingly described now – a product’s digital twin. AM-specific CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) software is necessary to give a growing number of different systems and technologies the proper instructions to produce a part layer by layer and even voxel by voxel. Then process monitoring software – and a growing demand of artificial intelligence power – is necessary to ensure that this happens without errors.


Once an AM part emerges from an AM machine it needs to move on to the next stations of the end-to-end digital production cycle. These include non-disruptive analysis via 3D and CAT scanning (and software is necessary here as well), part finishing (which requires adequate software and accurately studied design methods) and part handling. All these phases – and all the previous phases need to be controlled and coordinated by AM-specific MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) software. In fact, the entire lifecycle of the product, from the initial quotation to its final use, can now be digitalized and controlled via PLM  (Product Lifecycle Management) software.


This is the area where the giants of software are squaring off to define the way we will make anything and everything.

  • General Lattice is developing a predictive modeling toolset to design and generate lattice materials based on real-world data, which will improve impact absorption technology for the US Army next-gen combat helmet. The yearlong research and development project is currently underway at General Lattice’s facility in Chicago, Illinois. The capabilities of…

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  • AMFG, has joined the Stratasys GrabCAD Software Partner Program. The program enables AMFG to work strategically with the Stratasys team and their clients on integrating AMFG’s software with Stratasys FDM systems and GrabCAD software. A lack of AM machine connectivity with management systems like MES has been one of the…

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  • Roboze, the Italian-American provider of 3D printing solutions dedicated to the production and rapid prototyping of accurate, repeatable parts for extreme, end-use metal replacement applications, has launched Prometheus, a robust slicing software that dramatically increases the productivity of its customers. The software, developed by Roboze’s software engineering team, was unveiled…

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  • Materials company Covestro and ParaMatters, a multi-threaded generative design and manufacturing optimization software company, launched their jointly developed anisotropic optimization software, specifically designed for anisotropic materials. By combining ParaMatters expertise in design and manufacturing optimization technology, and Covestro knowledge in engineered materials, the two companies are delivering a complete anisotropic…

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  • Dyndrite, the provider of a core accelerated computation engine used to create next-generation digital manufacturing hardware and software, has revealed three high-profile partnerships focusing on different aspects of the additive manufacturing workflow. In particular, the company is working with Xaar and Meteor Inkjet to develop more efficient inkjet printheads for…

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  • 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) is acquiring Oqton, a software company specialized in the creation of a new breed of intelligent, cloud-based Manufacturing Operating System (MOS) platform. The acquisition valued $180 million, targets improvements in AM production and digital additive mass production. Interestingly, just two weeks ago, Oqton had further formalized its…

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  • BCN3D has acquired AstroPrint, a 3D printing software company known for its cloud solutions that allow users to efficiently manage multiple 3D printers. Both companies entered into an acquisition agreement last April and completed the transaction in July. This investment provides BCN3D with the opportunity to not only release a…

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  • EOS has been a development partner of the Oqton manufacturing operating system (MOS) since 2020, working on streamlining additive production. Moreover, the company conducted an extensive, year-long investigation into available systems to support its own internal production capabilities. EOS came to the conclusion that Oqton is the right platform to…

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  • Stratasys and Berlin-based innovation studio & venture builder, nFrontier, have entered a partnership aiming at jointly taking a leap into the future of impact-driven innovation in Additive Manufacturing. A creative powerhouse, the newly established nFrontier Emerging Technologies Center [EmTeCe], the core of the nFrontier Innovation Studio, established in 2020, aims…

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  • Interreg, the European Union’s inter-regional initiative that aims to bring Industry 4.0 business solutions to the region, has developed a successful blockchain-based 3D printing solution that will enable cryptographic protection of 3D design files while helping to stimulate local economies by creating new manufacturing opportunities. The collaboration has been made…

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