19 April 2018 16:17
Above: AMFG's AM Automation Software provides powerful tools for file preparation and production management.    Converting a CAD-designed model into a compatible file format for 3D printing is an unavoidable step in the 3D printing process. The file format most commonly used is STL, which allows the 3D printer to interpret CAD model data and then to create the physical object. However, when an STL file is poorly exported, this can lead to a myriad of unexpected and, typically, undesired results, affecting the printability of a part. So what are the most ...
28 November 2017 14:23
The meteoric growth of the 3D printing software industry over the last few years shows no signs of slowing down. According to a new report conducted by BIS Research, the global market for 3D printing software and services will grow to $4.52 billion by 2021 - reflecting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25.2%.  Increasing demand for software and services  across range of industries, including medical, automotive and aerospace & defence, is just one of the factors in the rapid growth of this sector. The crucial role of software within the ...
25 August 2017 13:31
While we’ve previously looked at some of the sophisticated, professional-level CAD software available, it’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily need to spend a huge amount of money to delve into 3D modelling and printing. There are a range of free CAD software tools available online that can be successfully utilised for industrial 3D printing applications. These can potentially be used for education, home use, or introducing 3D printing to a manufacturing operation for the first time in order to gain the support of external stakeholders. Here are some of ...
28 July 2017 10:06
The additive manufacturing (AM) sector is currently enjoying a period of rapid innovation, in terms of both processes and technology. In particular, new software solutions allow for multiple processes, machines and software tools to be truly integrated -- managed through a single, centralised platform. Once such a solution is in place, numerous opportunities to automate areas of the quotation, ordering and production processes will reveal themselves. The result: operational efficiency is enhanced, consistently high quality maintained, and a better customer journey helps build loyalty. All of this will help drive ...
04 July 2017 16:46
A successful industrial 3D printing operation depends on having the right tools readily available. This means the full arsenal of physical tools and machines, but also includes the right software. There are a lot of different software platforms used in modern manufacturing operations, but perhaps the most crucial is the CAD program. If you just want to design 3D models at home, there’s plenty of free software online that will be more than sufficient, but a professional operation will require professional software tools. It’s therefore important to consider your options ...
28 April 2017 15:15
We live in a truly connected world. Everything from our phones to our televisions and cars is now online, bringing together many disparate areas of our daily lives and how we do business. The concept of an ‘internet of things’ has gained increasing currency, and more and more companies across the industrial sector are looking to bring disparate systems and processes together to optimise their overall efficiency and productivity. As a result, effective software integration tools and processes must be considered. So how does this affect the world of additive manufacturing?   Bringing together ...
28 April 2017 8:22
A fundamental part of the ongoing development of additive manufacturing is the ongoing research into the technology and its applications within the world of academia. This includes everything from new materials and printing methods to the complementary processes and software that will help expand the technology's uptake across the industrial and manufacturing sectors. [caption id="attachment_1336" align="alignright" width="300"] Image courtesy of the AHO.[/caption] The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is leading the way in this field, and recently partnered with RP Platform to streamline and enhance its project workflows for additive manufacturing ...
24 March 2017 16:45
A recent survey revealed a number of fascinating developments in the way additive manufacturing companies’ long-term goals are evolving: Increasing project turnaround speed emerged as the main goal for most companies, followed closely by reducing operational costs More than 50% of companies surveyed were actively looking to develop AM as a production tool rather than purely a prototyping one However, the answers for how to best achieve these goals proves elusive. There are numerous elements to consider, and customer requirements and expectations are evolving year by year. However, one essential element ...
20 March 2017 18:33
Since their introduction in 1987, STL (Stereolithography) files have remained the default format for printing in the field of additive manufacturing. In this tutorial, we’ll look closely at this file format and share a few ways to make more effective use of its capabilities as part of your own additive manufacturing projects. How they work STL files are available in both ASCII and binary formats, although in practice, binary representations are more commonly used in additive manufacturing to minimise file sizes. ASCII-formatted files are typically reserved for testing new CAD interfaces. Models generated ...
17 February 2017 16:31
Any quality 3D printed product -- whether it’s a prototype or production part -- begins with a quality file, with all data properly checked and any errors repaired. A process for preparing the 3D model for printing should be established as part of an effective workflow management plan, with the appropriate systems and tools put in place to minimise any chances of human error. As your foundation, before sending any file to 3D model for conversion into STL format for printing, consider the following six areas:   1) Will your 3D printer and choice of ...