- On March 15, 2017
Autodesk has forged an alliance with leading material science companies to provide valuable data and insights into how materials, hardware and software work together to help users predict and improve their designs and 3D printing results.
The Autodesk Additive Manufacturing Alliance includes Covestro, Structured Polymers, Toner Plastics, Henkel, Molecule, Formlabs, polySpectra and DSM. Together, they are applying their collective knowledge and experience to expand the capabilities of additive manufacturing.
Manufacturers of all sizes face similar challenges successfully producing functional parts using additive manufacturing processes. Materials, software and machine process parameters interact in complex and sometimes unpredictable ways, impacting cost, performance and manufacturability. Reliability and repeatability in additive manufacturing are compromised if process or software parameters change. That’s why experimentally validated data from many contributors can provide real value to Autodesk customers.
Autodesk Netfabb additive manufacturing software already offers users a set of tools that cover additive workflows from design optimization through build preparation and process parameter development. A new online database will allow designers and engineers to choose from combinations of materials, machines and parameters. This will help them to create better results for 3D printed parts, simulate end-part performance and speed the innovations made possible by additive manufacturing.
Powered by some of the most trusted names in manufacturing materials, this rich data source will provide valuable material- and machine-specific data and insights from selection and design through final production. Over time, this Additive Manufacturing Alliance will grow to include all of the technologies supported by Netfabb, including metals and other new innovative materials.
“Autodesk is excited to collaborate with these leading machine and materials manufacturers and to provide the platform that connects all of this new data,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of digital manufacturing at Autodesk. “As a leader in 3D design and engineering software, Autodesk is committed to providing technologies that drive innovation in the industrial 3D printing space. These new alliances will help advance the additive manufacturing industry by providing access to new innovations in hardware, materials and software technology as it hits the market.”
Tapping into such data from materials and machine contributors will help Netfabb users:
- Find the right machine and material combinations. With easily accessible cost estimation, mechanical data, aesthetic properties, design rules and capabilities information, customers can find the right combinations before the design process begins.
- Test what matters. Users will now be able to design and optimize for cost and performance. That includes render shaders to visualize designs; structural simulation inputs; lattice lightweighting inputs; and process simulation inputs.
- Get products to market faster. Netfabb users will now have data such as support generation parameters, process parameters and build time estimation that can help them reduce build errors and produce their designs more efficiently.
“The additive manufacturing industry currently lacks standards for materials, hardware, software and services. Autodesk’s online database integrates these features and will enable the industry to move forward and flourish across all additive technologies,” said Vikram Devarajan, Co-founder and CEO at Structured Polymers. “We are excited to list our SLS powders within Autodesk’s ecosystem.”
- Structured Polymers
- Toner Plastics
Once released, this valuable additive manufacturing data from the ecosystem of contributors will be accessible via the Autodesk Netfabb website.
“We look forward to helping Autodesk establish an end-to-end workflow solution through enabling a seamless and differentiated materials selection between Autodesk design applications and additive manufacturing devices and equipment,” said Jack Warren, Chief Operating Officer of Toner Plastics. “We believe that once established, this end-to-end workflow will be an essential and powerful catalyst in the continued growth of additive manufacturing, and we are excited to be a part of it.”