This week, 3D printing industry heavyweight Materialise announced a new partnership with global IT services company HCL Technologies, which helps global enterprises re-imagine and transform their businesses through digital technology. Materialise combines the industry’s largest group of software developers with one of the biggest 3D printing facilities in the world, and is partnering with HCL to create a new platform that will facilitate increased integration for hybrid manufacturing.
Hybrid manufacturing takes advantage of the benefits of both subtractive and additive processes, and combines the two technologies in a single machine system to create parts with close tolerances and complex designs – think of a CNC machine equipped with 3D printing capabilities.
This collaboration will use Materialise 3D printing technology to power CAMWorks software from HCL. By combining the accuracy and speed of CNC machining with 3D printing’s freedom of design, the two companies will facilitate the production of metal parts.
“We are very excited with the new partnership and the potential hybrid manufacturing offers to the future of computer-aided design and manufacturing,” said GH Rao, President of Engineering and R&D Services (ERS) at HCL Technologies. “By combining advanced integrated CAM technology from HCL with the innovative 3D printing technology from Materialise, we look forward to enabling companies to create innovative products which can be brought to the market faster and at a lower cost.”
This collaboration marks the very first initiative to provide an integrated CAD/CAM software solution for hybrid manufacturing in a SOLIDWORKS environment. By integrating 3D printing and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) software in one platform, redundant manual work can be reduced, while the traceability of the production process will be expedited.CAMWorks is a parametric, solids-based CNC programming software system in the HCL portfolio that dramatically lowers programming time, which helps machinists machine faster and program smarter. The system powers SOLIDWORKS CAM, and extends the SOLIDWORKS Smart Manufacturing ecosystem by offering the most advanced technology available for 3, 4, and 5 axis turning, milling, and mill-turn CNC programming inside SOLIDWORKS. Those who utilize the new CAMWorks AM module, powered by Materialise, will have the ability to directly create support structures inside CAMWorks, as well as use the Materialise Build Processor to interface with the main metal 3D printers; Materialise is skilled in using its Magics software to create build processors for customers in multiple industries.
“The market space and applicability of the Additive Manufacturing technology has been growing dramatically in the past 5 years,” explained Stefaan Motte, Vice President of Software at Materialise. “Integration with current manufacturing systems is the next step to unlock digital transformations in manufacturing. This requires in-depth understanding of both subtractive and additive processes. We are certain that companies adopting hybrid manufacturing will benefit greatly from this collaboration, which combines our 30 years of experience in AM with the CAM expertise of HCL.”
The new CAMWorks AM module, powered by Materialise, should be available for release later this year.
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