The result of a collaboration between 3D software development tool kits provider Spatial Corp (a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, which was showcased in July) and UK-based engineering and scientific technology company Renishaw has finally been announced, with the release of a new version of Renishaw’s QuantAM software. This was made possible through the integration of some of Spatial’s key tool kits, like the 3D ACIS Modeler with CGM Polyhedra and 3D InterOp, as workbenches within QuantAM; these Spatial development tool kits were released in 2015. This collaboration will bring an exciting new batch of capabilities to QuantAM.
Renishaw, which supplies industrial automation and process control solutions and services for industries including aerospace, electronics, mining, and healthcare, has a solid history of product development and manufacturing innovation, which includes metal additive manufacturing technologies for design, prototyping, and production applications. The new QuantAM is the company’s build preparation software – it’s used to generate the printer’s laser scan paths, which fuse the metal powder layers to 3D print the part.
Up until now, the additive manufacturing industry has pretty much used the CAD export format known as stereolithography, or slice tessellation language (STL), as its primary input. This format describes a part as being a collection of connected triangles. So, the more complex a part is, the more triangles are needed to define it. The STL import has several drawbacks, including the export from CAD to STL. This is due to the potential negative impact on design intent, as well as the loss of control and model traceability.
“It is well-known that the STL format can cause issues, typically with broken descriptions that need healing, or with low triangle density impacting print quality,” said Stephen Anderson, Director of Group Software at Renishaw. “Our collaboration with Spatial now allows us to not only perform high-quality healing on STL files but, more importantly, to import various CAD formats directly.”
A significant change to the QuantAM release is its move away from relying only on the STL representation of the model, and toward the 3D ACIS modeling kernel. This will give Renishaw, and its customers, some major advantages, including access to best-in-class model healing, the benefits of precise B-rep and polyhedral hybrid modeling capabilities, and the ability to edit the 3D model directly.
“Rather than rely on a triangulated view of the 3D model, a far better approach is to work on the native geometry, preserving the original design intent of the model. By integrating Spatial SDKs into the newest version of QuantAM, Renishaw will continue to ensure the best chance of built-right-the-first-time parts and benefit from Spatial’s 30-year history of innovation,” said Brian Rohde, the Marketing Manager responsible for the 3D ACIS Modeler at Spatial.
- STL geometry import
- Part orientation
- Add support structures
- Material development module with CSV data import for materials development arrays
- Copy and edit material files
- Duplicate, orientate and position multiple parts
- Rapidly review your geometry and laser tool path slice-by-slice
- Review discrete laser exposures within each slice