The days of those epic fails in 3D printing—from the desktop to the industrial setting—seem to quickly be coming to a close. And certainly few will be disappointed in realizing this, enjoying both a technology and an industry where makers and manufacturers have quickly gotten their act together in solving challenges, from researching issues such as porosity in 3D metal printing and its effects on parts, to instilling new quality assurance methods in many production areas, as well as broaching subjects such as cybersecurity for any hardware, pointing out when prints become vulnerable.
When it comes to the role of services in 3D printing, the key to avoiding disaster is in prevention. Avante Technology, headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is enhancing their advanced 3D printing technology further with the release of version 1.2 of their Emendo Automated STL File Repair and Validation Software Development Kit (SDK). First introduced in 2014, this product is aimed toward those providing web based 3D printing on demand, as well as application developers. Avante unveiled version 1.1 just a couple of months ago, but they’ve already improved and expanded even further on their model with version 1.2. As a new solution, more powerful file repair and validation will be available, offering great benefit. Failed prints are expensive in both wasted material as well as wasted time, and with Emendo, manual file repairs sucking up your time are eliminated.
“The challenge for service providers is offering a high level of print quality while minimizing the amount of time required to repair and optimize uploaded STL files,” said Robert Zollo, President of Avante Technology. “We developed the Emendo SDK in response to a growing number of requests from web based printing services to help them improve printing efficiency through more automated file repair.”
While Emendo might offer a substantial solution for users, it is also simple to use. The Avante team has developed a new software development kit with a straightforward command-line interface and seamless integration with the web server software. Developers using Emendo should also find that they are able to easily combine accuracy and speed, meeting the requirements of their 3D printers.
“Traditional STL file repair applications are more like engineering toolkits,” said Zollo. “They require training to properly use and manual intervention if the default repair is not successful. We expanded the variety of repair methods that can be used in sequence to automate the great majority of file repairs. This improves efficiency and productivity for service bureaus who are printing large volumes of print jobs.”
Four repair method options are available within Emendo. Each employs a separate combination of algorithms, and with this variety, Avante is allowing designers to significantly expand the number of errors that can be fixed. Repairs can be scripted in specific orders to automate different .stl files, allowing designers to perform tasks such as creating .stl files in 3D software with numerous components that are not connected.
Traditional CAD oriented repair algorithms often are challenged to locate file boundaries and determine which holes should be left open or closed. With Emendo, repairs can be established for:
- CAD files
- Rendered .stl files
- Hybrid .stl files
Each repair method can be used for automating a wide range of fixes, and as the Avante team points out, a much more efficient and effective approach is achieved as so many files created by so many different applications can be repaired.
Selectable precision levels are also offered as an option. Here, designers are able to match the required level of precision directly with the type of 3D printer—and the part. Low, medium, or high precision can be chosen, accounting for whether or not a finer resolution is needed.
The SDK is available now, with version 1.2 available for MS Windows 7,8,10, and Mac OS 10.10, 10.11. According to Avante, other OS versions will also be made available on request. Four types of licensing are currently offered for:
- PC application developers
- Web developers
- Enterprise applications
- Educational organizations