Many today tout themselves as ‘leaders’ in numerous areas regarding 3D printing technology from software to hardware to materials, but for a company such as Autodesk, that’s already an undeniable fact. And they are continuing to pass their expertise on to designers and engineers around the world, allowing them to lead in their work as well with a massive toolkit that just keeps on expanding.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Autodesk unveiled their new Future of Manufacturing portfolio which makes a progressive statement in allowing designers the tools to work with additive and subtractive solutions, rather than just going 3D printing whole hog 3D and never looking back. Because there are still so many subtractive and traditional solutions that are widely relied on—and will continue to be—Autodesk has integrated an entire toolset for users whether they are engaged in additive manufacturing or CNC machining and milling.
That new portfolio offers a wide range of options with Netfabb playing a major role, offering streamlining in preparing 3D models for manufacturing. Users can look forward to a savings on the bottom line, higher productivity, and better performance from 3D printed parts. Autodesk has now just released Autodesk Netfabb 2017, taking us into the next year already with additional tools for those engaged in additive manufacturing processes. With the latest release, users function in one environment to perform a substantial amount of work. Here, Autodesk adds:
- Design enhancement
- Manufacturing preparation
- Build simulation tools
- Common file formats
- Process definitions
Autodesk has been building on Netfabb’s capabilities since the 2015 acquisition. With Netfabb 2017, the Autodesk team points out that some of the most powerful new capabilities are the enhanced simulation and the new optimization and advanced toolpath capabilities.
“Additive manufacturing is having a profound impact on how manufacturers of all sizes look at product design, production, distribution and economies of scale,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager of digital manufacturing at Autodesk. “With Netfabb 2017, Autodesk has created a single set of industrial tools that help move from design to finished part quickly and easily.”
Further highlights are as follows.
Enhanced Prototyping and File Preparation:
- Rapid file handling is achieved through the process of importing CAD files and converting them to editable STL files with the CAD import module.
- A wide range of model editing tools are available, helping users create the geometry necessary for powerful 3D printing performance.
Faster Production and Machine Operation:
- A new simulation utility provides fast, robust simulation of full layer deposition, and predicts structural stresses and deformations in metal parts, helping reduce the need for costly experimental iterations.
- The build support module assists users in creating support structures, while automatic packing maximizes the number of parts that can be loaded on a build area.
Powerful Design and Process Optimization:
- An advanced and powerful generative design enhancement feature enables fast and efficient light weighting and refinement of parts.
- Users are able to enhance part properties and throughput with an advanced toolpath engine that specifies hatching patterns and control parameters such as print speed, focus, and laser or beam power.
“Since we began using Autodesk Netfabb, we’re seeing significant savings on materials costs because we can keep the builds more efficient,” said Lasse Gistorp, owner and technical manager at GT Prototyper. ”Being more efficient gives us more money to put back into the business. It has also made it possible to use our employees’ time more productively, so it’s a better work environment for our people.”
These new solutions for Netfabb are available as of today and are free to all existing customers subscribing currently. For new customers, three options are available: Standard, Premium and Ultimate, and are available as either quarterly, annual or multi-year subscriptions through Autodesk Direct Sales. Discuss this new release further over in the Autodesk Releases Netfabb 2017 forum at 3DPB.com.