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.
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.”
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
Velo3D Is the First Metal 3D Printer OEM with the Highest-Level DoD Cybersecurity Compliance
Velo3D, the metal additive manufacturing (AM) original equipment manufacturer (OEM) based in Fremont, CA, has become the first metal AM OEM to achieve Green Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) Compliance...
BAE Systems Taps AML3D to 3D Print Metal Frigate Prototype
BAE Systems Maritime Australia (BAESMA), a division of the UK’s BAE Systems, has given a contract to Australian metal additive manufacturing (AM) original equipment manufacturer (OEM) AML3D, to produce and...
Reshaping Global Supply Chains: The UK’s First Advanced Manufacturing Plan
The day before the Biden administration announced around 30 broad-sweeping economic actions planned by the White House for 2024 and beyond — all surrounding the establishment of a new Council...
$138M to Support Ursa Major’s 3D Printed Rocket Engines
Earlier this year, TechCrunch revealed that Ursa Major Technologies, the Colorado-based startup specializing in using additive manufacturing (AM) for modular rocket engines, had taken in $100 million in its Series...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.