Belgium-based Additive Lab already works with One Click Metal and now has another coveted spot as a partner to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the form of AddUp. With everyone else braying for access to the data, the small firm helps manage the firehose. AdditiveLab was started in part by Christian Rossman, a former Chief Engineer at Materialise, and co-founded by Peter Mercelis, who is essentially a Belgian 3D printing startup ecosystem at this point, having exited Layerwise and used that cash to found several other ventures, including Oqton.

 “We are excited to partner with AddUp because their customers use metal AM for challenging designs at a serial production level. Our software integration will help AddUp customers overcome production challenges, enabling them to manufacture complex designs more efficiently. This partnership presented an excellent opportunity to collaborate and make an impact on industrializing metal AM,” said AdditiveLab CEO Christian Rossmann.

“After testing multiple options, the result from AdditiveLab was superior. Their simulation software was very simple to use and provided an easy way to integrate functionality into AddUp Manager. The partnership with AdditiveLab ensures our customers have a seamless and efficient user experience,” said Sebastien Devroe, AddUp’s CTO.

The market for simulation and build preparation software is competitive and confusing. There are offerings from large players like ANSYS and numerous small specialized startups. Some work based on uploading a file, while others interface directly with the machine. Some are powerful FEA or other simulation packages you may already own, while others are specific to additive manufacturing and could give you an edge. The space is very exciting, with companies such as Pan Optimization, Autodesk, Siemens, Hexagon, Flow3D, Comsol, and others.

Deciding whether to go with your existing simulation provider, an extension to your CAD package, or something added to your build prep software can be challenging. Who optimizes a build or a part? Is FEA something you do while designing, during production, or all the time? Where should simulation “live” in the workflow? The jury is still out on all of this.

However, we do know that the best-performing teams use engineers with different skill sets to holistically design a series of components in a workflow. This workflow and the final part are optimized for use, buildability, and part qualities throughout the process. A sequential series of software tools seems inefficient. Accessibility to simulation, build prep, and authoring throughout the process seems like the way to go.

On top of this, the package that most efficiently harnesses data and gives users insight will give its users a real edge. There will, therefore, be a lot of jockeying for space in this market segment. Thus, it is a real victory for AdditiveLab to be integrated into an OEM’s offering in such a way. There are only so many slots available, and AdditiveLab has just taken one of them; a scramble for more should ensue.