Metal 3D printing is the future of manufacturing/the 3D printing industry/life as we know it. By now, it comes as no surprise to hear about the explosion of metal additive manufacturing, but it’s still interesting to see how different corporations are implementing it and adapting to its rise within the industry. It’s safe to say that any company that wants to be a major player in the future of the additive manufacturing industry needs to adopt metal technology to some degree, and most are doing so in some way, whether it’s the addition of new metal materials to one’s production capabilities or the development of a whole new line of printers.
Then there are the corporations that have taken the metal additive manufacturing trend and, well, owned it. That’s the best way I can think of to describe what companies like Additive Industries have done as metal has taken over. Far from just developing a few metal 3D printers, the Netherlands-based company created “the first integrated industrial 3D metal printing system” in the monstrous MetalFAB1. Officially unveiled in November, the MetalFAB1 is like a factory in a box. While the giant printer is still currently being beta tested by selected customers, the company is preparing for series production, and in the meantime they’re keeping us interested with a steady flow of news about the system’s development.
Additive Industries’ latest announcement involves the Additive World Platform, the comprehensive software platform the company has developed to support the MetalFAB1. At the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference, currently taking place in St. Louis, the company announced that they have signed a machine manufacturer partnership agreement with 3DSIM, developer of software for metal additive manufacturing production and research. Additive Industries will integrate 3DSIM’s exaSIM and FLEX tools into Additive World, making them the first company to adopt the software tools, which are still in beta.
“We believe 3DSIM’s physics-based software tools will revolutionize the way future products are designed, produced and qualified,” said Brent Stucker, CEO of 3DSIM. “By seamlessly enabling our customers to manage parts and builds in the Additive World platform, simulate production in 3DSIM’s software and finally producing that build on a MetalFAB1 machine, we are creating the tools needed for a truly integrated and predictable metal additive manufacturing process.”
3DSIM’s FLEX tool is a cloud-based simulation program that allows users to virtually experiment with and optimize parts before actually printing them, eliminating the time and money wasted on physical trial-and-error experimentation for part qualification. ExaSIM is designed to minimize the support material needed in any print job by analyzing and predicting residual stress and strain data, saving manufacturers additional thousands of dollars in unnecessary support material.
“The 3DSIM software will allow us to speed up the development of our MetalFAB1 system and help our customers to increase productivity, speed up process qualification and reduce the cost of printed parts,” said Mark Vaes, Technology Manager of Additive Industries.
3DSIM is still looking for additional beta customers for FLEX and exaSIM. If you’re a manufacturer interested in learning more, you can download brochures and contact the company here. What are your thoughts on the new partnership? Discuss in the 3DSIM Beta 3D Software Testing forum over at 3DPB.com.