UK software startup Additive Flow, founded in 2017, emerged from stealth mode this winter with its FormFlow AM optimization software, which helps users use parametric design for 3D printable parts by allowing them to define several optimization parameters for geometry, process, and material. The company went for a holistic approach with its software, creating a set of digital tools that are flexible enough to consider both geometry and material properties at the same time, and place structures, parameters, and materials—subject to constraints and hardware systems—where they need to be.
Now, Additive Flow has issued a formal invitation for companies across the conventional and additive manufacturing supply chain to give FormFlow a try. The invitation is for companies that wish to be included in a beta program for the multifunctional optimization software solution.
“We are excited to extend this invitation to designers and engineers from across the supply chain to trial our FormFlow software,” said Alexander Pluke, CEO at Additive Flow, who co-founded the company with CTO Charles Fried. “While the software is ideally suited to AM applications, it is also worth making the point that it is just as appropriate for use with traditional manufacturing processes such as injection and over moulding. Just because a material or a process is well understood doesn’t mean that we should not ensure that we are using them in a way that improves manufacturing outcomes — regardless of process — in terms of the parts themselves, manufacturability, sustainability and recyclability. As such, we would welcome applications from AM and non-AM designs alike.”
Additive Flow is working to solve issues in the digital workflow that prevent current and potential AM users from putting manufacturing technologies to full use during the process chain pre-production stages. Its digital tools optimize outcomes for applications in both 3D printing and traditional methods of manufacturing, and allows for multi-property performance. The software can be used across multiple material systems, such as ceramics, polymers, and metals, and also enables users to combine them for multimaterial applications as well.
“Put simply, FormFlow puts the right material, with the right properties, in the right place — and optimizes part geometry and material properties simultaneously with multi-physics algorithms. Subsequently FormFlow allows users to simultaneously view productivity, cost, and performance outcomes of different design/production recommendations, allows for multiple materials and different geometry optimizations, and quickly and efficiently produces optimized production files according to multiple user-defined parameters,” Pluke continued.
“FormFlow is also AM-process / system agnostic with specialist generative algorithms that can account for the unique properties in AM materials and can be tailored to work with single- and/or multi-property designs, with the correct data.”
Additive Flow explains that its FormFlow solution gives users a simpler digital workflow for multi-property manufacturing and design. By intelligently combining data science and multi-physics generative algorithms, the software purports to provide modular digital solutions that are better than the tools you normally use.
Pluke said that partners in the FormFlow alpha program have provided the company with great feedback, stating that they were looking for a tool that can account for “multiple properties within one part, for cost and sustainability improvements,” as well as accomplish “double digit benefit improvements in weight and performance” using orthotropic topology optimization.
There are a limited number of free places for applicants interested in testing out the FormFlow software ahead of its commercial launch. Interested parties can fill out an online application here, or speak with Nick Parry, Additive Flow’ Commercial Director, at +44 (0) 203 5898776, by Monday, September 14th, 2020. Those chosen will gain free secure access, for an agreed-upon period of time, to a live streaming version of FormFlow. To make sure that participants are taking advantage of all the benefits that the software solution offers, they will also be selected to receive consultation from the Additive Flow team, or 3DGBIRE.
(Source/Images: Additive Flow)
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