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.

  • Photo of 3Diligent expands manufacturing-as-a-service suite

    3Diligent expanded its leading manufacturing-as-a-service (MaaS) application, ProdEX, and its scalable shop management application, Shopsight. These applications respectively connect additive manufacturing service providers with clients and enable remote assessment, quoting and project management. These applications run through 3Diligent’s Connect interface: advertisers and customers can request a quote via ProdEX and…

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  • Photo of Razorleaf partners with Ansys on simulation process and data management

      Stow, Ohio — October 15, 2020 – Razorleaf Corporation, a leading PLM consulting and systems integrator, today announced a strategic service partnership with Ansys for the Minerva platform powered by Aras, a centralized simulation knowledge management application. This platform secures critical simulation data and provides process and decision support…

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  • Photo of Strategic roots: nTopology announces Indian partnership with Excel3D Advanced Technologies

    nTopology put down further strategic roots by announcing a partnership with Excel3D Advanced Technologies. This announcement comes two days after announcing a partnership with South Korean reseller Harvestance. The company’s partnerships expand its influence in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Six sphere, which gives nTopology some access to…

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  • Photo of 3DPrinterOS welcomes new CEO Michelle Bockman

    3DPrinterOS, an end-to-end 3D printer management solution provider, has appointed Michelle Bockman as its new CEO. Bockman, who previously served as HP’s General Manager and Global Head of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing – Automotive & High-Value Applications, has extensive experience in the additive world and will lead 3DPrinterOS into…

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  • Photo of nTopology signs Harvestance as partner reseller in South Korea

    After finalizing operations in Japan, DfAM design software specialist nTopology has now signed a new reseller partnership with engineering solutions provider Harvestance for the market in South Korea. Harvestance is one of the leading DfAM experts in the region with years of experience across various roles in the industry. nTopology’s…

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  • Photo of 3D sculpture scanning reinforces massive Russian war memorial

    3D sculpture scanning and printing perfected the design of a twenty-five-meter-tall bronze statue commemorating the 2.3 million dead and wounded soldiers lost in the Battles of Rzhev, which took place between January 1942 and March 1943. The sculptor, Andrey Korobtsov, and his architect partner, Konstantin Fomin, enlisted Thor3D’s scanning technology,…

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  • Photo of Authentise adds Material Management feature to AM workflow solution

    Authentise, a provider of workflow software for additive manufacturing, is making digital materials tracking easier for AM powders thanks to its new Material Management feature. The software update will enable users to track every step of the AM powder workflow, including sieving, blending and printing, creating a full digital thread…

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  • Photo of Centralized shipping for additive manufactured parts

    . The world’s largest networked manufacturing services provider takes a further step to leverage its international operations for bulk orders. Shipments will be routed through two warehouses, with quoted prices to include customs and brokerage charges. 3D printed parts remain exempt from this change because 3D Hubs has re-emphasized its…

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  • Photo of Free online AMOTool by Etteplan estimates cost of 3D printing

    Etteplan, a Finland-based engineering services company, is hoping to drastically streamline cost estimation for additive manufacturing with its new browser-based tool, Etteplan AMOTool. The new online feature, which is free to use, calculates the production costs of AM, taking into account production method and object, with the aim of helping…

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  • Photo of nTopology raises $40M in Series C funding round

    Engineering software developer nTopology has announced the closing of a $40 million Series C funding round led by Insight Partners, a NYC-based global venture capital and private equity firm. The significant investment, also supported by Grant Verstandig, Root, Canaan, DCVC and Haystack, will enable the rapidly growing company to expand access…

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