Simplifying design to 3-D print processes

Posted on 07 May 2019 and read 670 times
Simplifying design to 3-D print processesEmpowering designers and engineers to embrace new 3-D printed possibilities, Stratasys ( is further removing complexity from design to 3-D print processes.

The GrabCAD Print software’s Advanced FDM (fused deposition modelling) feature is aimed at ensuring design intent via intuitive model interaction to rapidly deliver strong, light and purpose-built parts.

By avoiding laborious CAD-to-STL conversion, users can work in high fidelity and rapidly shorten the design to 3-D print process.

Advanced FDM is designed to speed part production, while maintaining creation of purpose-built parts that minimise weight without compromising strength.

Mark Walker, Stratasys’s lead software product manager, said: “For design and manufacturing engineers, one of the most frustrating processes is ‘dumbing down’ a CAD file to STL format — only to require subsequent re-injection of design intent into the STL printing process.

"This software is engineered to do away with this complexity, letting designers reduce iterations and design cycles — getting to a high-quality, realistic prototype and final part faster than ever before.”

With rich CAD-native build controls, the solution does not require the manual generation of complex tool-paths — cutting overall programming times for 3-D printing.

Intuitive features achieve the desired part characteristics through automatic control of FDM build attributes.

Engineers can easily select areas on native design geometry and specify design attributes, letting Advanced FDM automatically calculate 3-D printing tool-paths.

Assigning attributes directly to CAD models, users pinpoint areas of strength and rigidity, control infills, ensure sufficient material around holes with inserts, and avoid seams.

Since tool-paths are automatically generated from model assignments, the user can expect to spend significantly less time on part set-up, without losing strong, high-quality and purpose-built FDM parts.

Dave Hewitson, McLaren rapid-prototyping programmer, said: “Advanced FDM has proved invaluable in improving our part-processing time.

“When processing a very large number of tools and fixtures in a very time-pressured environment, it was crucial to ensure that stronger tool areas were correct first time, every time.

“Advanced FDM negates the requirement for multiple programs, creating a more streamlined process.

“It has also allowed us to more effectively control the structure of end-use car parts — something that was previously very difficult with the solutions we had in hand.

“This means that we can get better parts to the track faster.”

GrabCAD’s Advanced FDM is available now via download with GrabCAD Print (from versions 1.24) and is supported on the following Stratasys 3-D printing systems: F370, Fortus 380mc, Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition, Fortus 450mc, Fortus 400mc, Fortus 900mc and F900.

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