Additive manufacturing software has a big impact on productivity, part quality and total cost of operations; make sure you choose the right one.
If you use metal Additive Manufacturing (AM), you know the advantages it offers in producing lighter weight, higher performing, and more optimized parts, as well as the value it brings to your business. You also know to be skeptical of new offerings that promise to be quick and easy. Metal 3D printing is a process, and having a design file and printer does not mean a final part is just a click away.
If you are considering adopting additive manufacturing to expand your business, the above paragraph may be news to you, but this post should help fill information gaps as you continue to research your best options. The key aspect to note is that 3D printing is not just about printers: software also plays an integral role. Getting the right combination of software and printer is critical to getting successful, high quality prints, working productively, and lowering your total cost of operations.
Before the introduction of 3DXpert™ integrated metal AM software, the file preparation process for AM was time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating. In fact, for those who have yet to discover 3DXpert, it may still be. The reason for this is what we at 3D Systems call “the gap” from the “Mind the gap” warning seen on train platforms. Without an all-in-one software for optimizing and preparing a 3D model for printing and post-processing, one is left with a string of independent software solutions that are each capable of performing only part of the process, which is anything but efficient. If this sounds familiar, your production cycle could look dramatically different with the introduction of 3DXpert.
Returning to our train analogy, independent software solutions are much like cable cars that are hitched together without walkways. The only way to go from preparation to optimization to analysis is to stop the train, get out, and go to the new car you need at the next station. If you get towards the end of this process and realize you need to modify something at the early design stage, you have to go all the way back to the first car and begin again.
With 3DXpert, however, there is no need to stop the train. Because all the functions you will need can be accessed, used, and repeated fluidly, without disruption, your projects can continue moving forward without exiting to other software environments or transferring your data into new file formats. Beyond this compelling time savings, 3DXpert helps users maintain the integrity of their design by maintaining them in their native format.
You can go far and fast with metal 3D printing, but you need to set yourself up for success with the right workflow.
- what to look for in an AM software
- how to sharpen your competitive edge
- the impact of your file preparation process on profitability
- the measured productivity gains experienced by a 3DXpert customer