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.

  • ExLattice has joined NVIDIA Inception, a program designed to nurture startups revolutionizing industries with advancements in AI and data sciences. The North Carolina startup is developing the next-generation engineering software for metal additive manufacturing, to be intelligent with real-time feedback. The company’s stated mission is to equip AM designers and…

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  • The Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker Air Force base has awarded Optomec a $500,000 process development contract for the Additive Repair of jet engine components used in the F-15 and F-16 fighters. The solution will rely on Optomec’s LENS technology, a metal additive manufacturing technique based on powder-fed directed…

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  • Stratasys today launched two new PolyJet 3D printers, the Stratasys J35 Pro, and the Stratasys J55 Prime, along with new software solutions for research and packaging prototyping. The company has accelerated its pace of innovation using PolyJet technology as designers and engineers work to bring new and better products to…

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  • The  Block Research Group at ETCH Zurich is working with Zaha Hadid Architects Computation and Design Group (ZHACODE), incremental3D and Holcim to build the Striatus 3D concrete printed masonry bridge, in time for the Venice Biennale exhibit. The 3D printed bridge is being built for the “Time Space Existence” exhibition,…

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  • ZVerse Delivering on MRO webinar

    As industries around the world strive to find new, more sustainable ways of operating, one of the critical underlying ideas that must be addressed is how to keep products, equipment, and infrastructure in use. The “Delivering on MRO” webinar hosted by ZVerse, Inc. will zoom in on this topic, highlighting…

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  • A new approach by Forward AM and OECHSLER, a German polymer processing company, enables humans and cobots (short for COllaborative roBOTS) to share a workspace without any safety risks and manufacturing companies to keep productivity constantly high. A thin, high cushioning second ‘skin layer’ is wrapped around the cobot’s joints.…

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  • Stratasys and DyeMansion have entered into a collaboration to create the first reference architecture for production scale additive manufacturing. The reference architecture outlines a process for using additive manufacturing to mass-produce 3D printed end-use parts with consistently high quality and priced competitively with traditional manufacturing processes. The architecture is based…

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  • Twikit unveiled its latest cloud suite product, Laddy. The software solution was developed to enable more brands to capture the value of mass customization even further through lattice individualization. Twikit’s vision for Laddy is to use the power of AI to transform unique user input into individualized lattices with guaranteed…

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  • SPEE3D, the Australian manufacturer of systems based on a kinetic consolidation (cold blow powder) high-speed metal 3D printing technology, released SPEE3DCraft, a novel free-to-download additive manufacturing (AM) simulator where individuals can explore genuine metal 3D printing technologies and processes in a way that is both fun and educational, directly from…

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  • Slicelab was established in 2012 by Arthur Azoulai and Diego Taccioli as an experimental design studio operating between the disciplines of art and architecture. The intent of the latest Delicate Density Table project was to research a new fabrication and mold-making method for complex concrete forms by using 3D printing.…

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