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.

Evonik launches software tool based on Castor part identification tech

Materials company Evonik has launched a new software tool for 3D printing that enables manufacturers to easily determine the optimal…

1 day ago

New 3D_Evolution Simplifier automatically reduces CAD files for smoother digital factory planning

In digital factory environments engineers very often face the challenge presented by highly detailed CAD models generating heavy data and…

2 days ago

Audi and trinckle develop in-house design software for 3D printing tools

In our automotive focus last month, we spotlighted many of the automakers using additive manufacturing for production today, including German…

2 days ago

Lattice Technology’s new XVL Web3D Manager handles gigabyte-size 3D models on a web browser

Lattice Technology, a software solution provider in the PLM space, released XVL Web3D Manager, a new product that enables viewing…

3 days ago

Dassault Systèmes names Xometry as first ‘prime partner’

Software company Dassault Systèmes and manufacturing service provider Xometry are partnering to offer customers an integrated solution for ordering parts…

2 weeks ago

AMFG adds build preparation feature to MES software

British AM software company AMFG has added a new Build Preparation tool to its Additive Manufacturing Execution System (MES). The…

3 weeks ago

Bassetti integrates Senvol Database into TEEXMA for Additive solution

The Bassetti Group, a French software solutions company, is now offering the Senvol Database of industrial additive manufacturing machines and…

4 weeks ago

Researchers look to the human fetus for DfAM inspiration

For those in the additive manufacturing industry, it is a well known fact that AM requires different design principles than…

1 month ago

Arcimoto and XponentialWorks lightweight Fun Utility Vehicle using DfAM

Corporate advisory company XponentialWorks, which specializes in 3D printing, AI and other next-gen technologies, is turning its focus to the…

1 month ago

Prellis Biologics launches TissueWorkshop to simplify 3D scaffold design

Prellis Biologics, Inc. is hoping to make the bioprinting process more accessible in order to accelerate research in the field…

3 months ago