Ricoh 3D Adds Generative Design Options for 3D Printing

RAPID

Share this Article

UK-based Ricoh 3D has added generative design and shape optimization software to their line of 3D printing services.

Currently, Ricoh 3D offers external printers and in-house printing and design (both Multi Jet Fusion and laser sintering).  According to Ricoh Senior Design engineer Richard Minifie, many of the prototypes that pass through their in-house print lab aren’t optimized for 3D printing.

“We see endless parts being produced for additive manufacturing that are still designed as though they are being applied to traditional manufacturing methods,” said Minifie. “Very often those who have worked with traditional methods all their lives do not fully understand how AM can completely remove old design constraints.”

Generative design and shape optimization software are two ways to help develop designs outside of these older constraints. They both build off Finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulation, which generates design concepts that work within performance or material limits. In the world of 3D printing, FEA is used to optimize everything from tissue engineering experiments to micropumps to miniature satellites. The difference between the two is that generative design software automatically removes material after the FEA process, whereas shape optimization lets the user remove material manually afterwards. Simply put, both processes give the designer more possibilities to work with, and can help create a better product.

A toner bottle puck designed with Ricoh 3D’s new FEA-based services (right) to use less material. (Image via Ricoh).

In their statement on the new products, Ricoh 3D emphasized the cost and weight savings that FEA-related software can help with. In-house, their optimization services have helped them redesign an orthotic lever for a local hospital, with a 60 percent weight reduction  and 15 percent cost savings. They’ve also used optimization to improve their own factories, redesigning a jig tool in their Quality Assurance process, and designing a more efficient bottle puck for use in the toner line at their factory in Telford, England. They have not yet installed the improved bottle pucks, but they expect the savings to be significant, since the Telford factory delivers 25,000 toner bottles per day. 

“Businesses that are looking to use 3D printing as a final production method should be considering optimization as part of their design process – not least to create the fascinating shapes that are possible, but also for impressive operating cost savings,” says Minifie. “We invite anyone to challenge us to see what gains are possible for your products using this technology.”

Share this Article


Recent News

Immensa and Pelagus 3D Collaborate to Tap “$2 Billion” 3D Printing Opportunity

BMW’s 3D Printed Robot Grippers Cut CO2, Improve Efficiency



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

InfinitForm Comes out of Stealth with AI Co-pilot for Manufacturing Design

As manufacturing goes digital, new software tools are proving to be the key to streamlining the connection between users and advanced manufacturing hardware. Whether that is artificial intelligence (AI) for...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: April 21, 2024

It’s another busy week of webinars and events, starting with Hannover Messe in Germany and continuing with Metalcasting Congress, Chinaplas, TechBlick’s Innovation Festival, and more. Stratasys continues its advanced training...

Sponsored

CDFAM Returns to Berlin for Second Annual Symposium

The second CDFAM Computational Design Symposium is scheduled for May 7-8, 2024, in Berlin, and will convene leading experts in computational design across all scales. Building upon the first event...

BMW Targets WAAM 3D Printed Test Parts for Vehicles Next Year

The BMW Group has long been a user and innovator in additive manufacturing (AM) technology, dating back nearly 35 years. Nevertheless, the auto giant never fails to impress in the...