Today is the last day of the SOLIDWORKS World 2017 conference in Los Angeles, and the big announcements just keep rolling out. On the first day, 3D printing solutions heavyweight Stratasys introduced its new FDM-based F123 series, comprised of the fast, versatile F170, F270, and F370 3D printers. These three machines are putting the rapid back in prototyping: Stratasys says that just one F123 series printer can be utilized for the whole prototyping workflow, from original concept verification to final functioning performance. The company is a long-time member of the SOLIDWORKS Partner Program, and also announced a GrabCAD Print Add-In for SOLIDWORKS, which will let users stay in the SOLIDWORKS environment while estimating and printing parts for multiple Stratasys systems, including the new F123 series. This will give Stratasys 3D printer users unrestricted access to the whole community of SOLIDWORKS engineering and design professionals.
Yesterday, Dassault Systèmes, the creator of SOLIDWORKS, announced that it would be extending the presence of its innovative 3DEXPERIENCE platform in North America later this year, when it opens its first 3DEXPERIENCE Lab at the company’s North American headquarters near Boston. The new North American 3DEXPERIENCE Lab will also be home to a Fab Lab, designed and set up together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Bits and Atoms.
But if you thought that was it for the big announcements from these two, think again. Today, Stratasys announced that it is partnering up with Dassault Systèmes, in order to “provide next generation design tools that improve the functionality, efficiency and weight ratio” of parts that are produced through additive manufacturing. Stratasys had a decent year: according to its third quarter financial report, though the company struggled to increase its total revenue, it did significantly reduce operating losses. But, considering the recent management shake-ups at both Stratasys and its subsidiary MakerBot, finding a way for its customers to get even more out of their FDM 3D printers is a good move.
“Stratasys shares Dassault Systèmes’ vision for a fully integrated, end-to-end design to additive manufacturing solution,” said Jon Stevenson, senior VP global software, Stratasys. “This partnership brings Stratasys one step closer to that vision with high performance simulation tools that accurately represent the fused deposition model process. We believe the solution’s predictive capabilities and efficient workflow will significantly expand the range of parts that can be confidently produced with Stratasys FDM-based 3D printing solutions. These are already being used to create production parts by companies like United Launch Alliance, Opel, Volvo Trucks and Daihatsu.”
So, what will this partnership accomplish, and how? You can tune in to a live, joint webinar next Thursday, February 16, titled “Simulation-Drive Design and 3D Printing with Dassault Systèmes and Stratasys,” to learn more about the collaboration. If you’re currently attending SOLIDWORKS World 2017 in LA, you can also stop by the Partner Pavilion and visit the Stratasys booth, #701.
But, for a quick explanation now, the two companies have teamed up to optimize the simulation and design capabilities of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which does support the FDM 3D printers and materials owned by Stratasys. In addition, 3DEXPERIENCE Platform-powered SIMULIA will play a major role in the simulation side of things. It allows users to explore the real-world behaviors of nature, product, and life, through its deliver of realistic simulation applications.
Some of the new capabilities of this partnership will include:
- Design optimization for lighter weight parts: the FDM process will be used to 3D print parts, using less material than traditional manufacturing methods to get the same performance. This kind of weight saving can reduce cost and increase efficiency beyond what’s possible with traditional methods.
- Strength and fatigue analysis: giving confidence to further expand applications for load-bearing 3D printed FDM parts, as well as providing the tools needed to support qualification of parts.
- Print process simulation: this will give more insights into the residual performance and stress of 3D printed FDM parts.
“For additive manufacturing to reach its true potential, engineers need tools that will allow them to harness the virtually limitless geometric freedom that it provides,” said Scott Berkey, CEO, SIMULIA, Dassault Systèmes. “By fully simulating the unique characteristics of the FDM process, we’re able to bring unprecedented accuracy and speed to the design and validation process. We’re pleased to be partnering with Stratasys to bring these critical capabilities to customers.”
Discuss in the Stratasys Dassault forum at 3DPB.com.