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.

  • The U.S. Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (AFRSO) has awarded blockchain innovator SIMBA Chain a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant to develop a solution that will ultimately allow the Air Force to manufacture, test, and deploy critical replacement parts for aircraft and other weaponry on forward operating…

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  • Dyndrite AMT software formnext

    Dyndrite added Essentium, a company that pioneered of High-Speed Extrusion (HSE) 3D printers and materials, and Xaar, a manufacturer of piezo-based inkjet technologies used in a number of industries, to the Dyndrite Developer Council. The Dyndrite Developer Council is a central component of the Dyndrite Developer Program which provides tools, resources,…

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  • Exponential Technologies (xT), a German-Latvian startup and winner of the Formnext Startup Challenge 2019, has attracted a pre-seed investment from Berlin-based VC fund APX to expand its presence in the German industrial sector. “Being a global industrial powerhouse, my home country Germany was always one of our major focus markets.…

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  • The BASSETTI Group reinforced its external growth strategy by acquiring 3DTRUST, a German firm whose activities mainly relate to the development and publishing of an MES (Manufacturing Execution System) software specifically for additive manufacturing. Editor and integrator of software for the industry for nearly 30 years, and a pioneer in…

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  • WAZP, a global end-to-end supply chain for Additive Manufacturing has created a 3D printing solutions-focused platform called Spark. The platform will assist businesses trying to adopt and reap the benefits of additive manufacturing when producing products and components. Spark offers files that are ready to print, fully customizable, have varying…

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  • AMFG, a supplier of MES and Workflow automation software for additive manufacturing, and L’Oréal have partnered to optimize rapid prototyping workflows in its 3D printing lab. As 3D printing volumes increased, L’Oréal decided to invest in a solution that could support this growth and chose AMFG’s software as its workflow…

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  • SPEE3D will release SPEE3DCraft , the first end-to-end metal manufacturing simulator, this April. SPEE3DCraft is designed to provide craftsmen and 3D printing enthusiasts with an intuitive virtual experience of real-life metal 3D printing methods using the same tools and equipment developed by SPEE3D. SPEE3D’s new simulator folds into its mission,…

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  • SnapEDA and DipTrace partner to deliver DipTrace's content on the SnapEDA search engine.

    SnapEDA, creators of the first search engine for electronics design, and DipTrace, an easy-to-use PCB design software, are collaborating to support DipTrace on the SnapEDA website. This collaboration integrates SnapEDA’s computer-aided design (CAD) database directly into DipTrace’s latest PCB design software. With billions of electronic components to choose from, engineers are…

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  • As affordable 3D printers, especially high-resolution resin LED systems, continue to gain adoption within fan communities around the world, entirely new business models are starting to take shape, with the support of modern fund-raising tools, Patreon in particular. Graphic studios are creating collectible action figures, table-top game figurines, cosplay accessories,…

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  • Siemens' Teamcenter portfolio in the workplace.

    Siemens Digital Industries Software was named a leader in product lifecycle management (PLM) by Forrester Research for its Teamcenter portfolio. Siemens was among the select companies that Forrester invited to participate in The Forrester Wave: Product Lifecycle Management for Discrete Manufacturers, Q1 2021 evaluation. In this evaluation of the Teamcenter…

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