As part of its updated software strategy, GE Additive is teaming up Autodesk to streamline the metal 3D printing process through the development of an integrated workflow software for GE Additive systems. The workflow will combine the Autodesk Fusion 360 platform with GE Additive Build Preparation interfaces to connect all stages of the AM process, from design and simulation to printing and machine analytics.
The aim of the collaboration is to offer GE Additive users and clients a streamlined platform that will enable them to make more informed decisions about AM projects early in the development stage. In other words, the GE Additive software tools and specialized data models will provide valuable and predictive insight to users so that they can identify and solve potential issues before moving to production.
The GE Additive Build Preparation interfaces will be connected securely to Fusion 360 so that users can safely transfer build data into Fusion 360 for a complete overview and history of a given part. This past data will help to improve decision making in the future, the companies say.
Lars Bruns, software leader at GE Additive, commented on the partnership, saying: “Working with Autodesk will provide a powerful design-to-print environment for our customers, helping lower the barriers of additive adoption while accelerating a customer’s time to first good part.”
The software integration will also give users access to Autodesk’s generative design technology in Fusion 360, enabling designers and engineers to directly input design goals and specify parameters (including material, manufacturing method, cost constraints, etc.). Given these parameters, the software will evaluate all viable possibilities for the project. From there, designs can then be validates, prepared and sent to the 3D printer.
We are increasingly seeing integrated solutions between design software and manufacturing, as companies realize that the convergence of the two will be paramount for the optimization and adoption of additive manufacturing. Authentise, an automation software specialist, has also been taking steps towards integrating its own platform with other tools, such as Prosper3D’s quoting tool, to offer clients the most options within a single platform, and Autodesk Netfabb.
Greg Fallon, VP of Business Strategy for Autodesk, stated: “We share a common goal with GE Additive to help our customers bring better products to market faster. Smoother, more efficient workflows will enable designers and engineers to take full advantage of GE Additive’s machines and other advanced technologies such as generative design.”