At Formnext 2018, GE Additive demonstrated its forthcoming digital workflow software solution and announced its intention to offer a suite of secure build preparation services to be commercially available at the RAPID + TCT show in May 2019.
Today, the additive industry uses a vast array of build preparation tools, technologies, interfaces and licenses, which creates an additional layer of complexity for design engineers to manage and navigate during the CAD design to print process. A lack of interoperability due to different interfaces, file types and user experiences can result in costly mistakes and delays for the design engineering community and machine operators.
GE Additive’s software strategy centers on simplifying the additive process and enabling an interoperable workflow. Its vision is to create a common experience through a secure, intuitive tool that reduces design iterations and speeds up the time to print a good part, according to the design intent.
Improving additive’s build preparation workflow and lowering barriers to additive adoption involves the combination of several elements:
- A simplified and secure build preparation workflow spanning the entire design to print process
- Interoperable build prep services available to CAD providers
- The speed and accuracy of Geonx’s simulation coupled with iterative thermal compensation
- Improved slicing performance
- Off-machine build processor
Open Architecture, Partnership Approach
GE Additive also announced partnership agreements with the additive industry’s leading software vendors; Autodesk, PTC, Siemens PLM Software and Vera Security to address the need for simplified, interoperable and secure digital workflows. The company has also initiated a collaboration agreement with industry leader Dassault Systèmes.The terms of each agreement were not disclosed.
“We acknowledge that the industry needs to improve overall interoperability for design engineers,” said Lars Bruns, software leader, GE Additive.
Working with partners helps allow GE Additive to provide build preparation services directly into the tools of choice for design engineers. Embedding these services in the design engineer’s CAD toolset saves time, reduces errors, enables more accurate builds and accelerates the adoption of additive through secure access to GE Additive machines.
The Road to RAPID
GE Additive will continue to seek feedback from customers and end-users during interactive demo presentations at Formnext and announced it is recruiting interested parties to participate in beta testing, through its Software Advisory and Technical Preview program.
“Feedback is a critical activity in the development of any software system, which is why we are demonstrating our current capabilities in Frankfurt. Over the next eight months, we’re seeking customer input from our users to help us inspect, adapt and iterate ahead of our commercial launch,” continued Lars Bruns.
This end-user and customer feedback will expand upon extensive ongoing internal GE user research, combined with advanced technical modeling capabilities developed by both GE Additive’s GeonX team for simulation and by GE Global Research teams for distortion compensation.