4D_Additive: All in One Additive Manufacturing Software


The 3D printing software, 4D_Additive, reads 3D models from STL as well as major CAD formats. This makes it possible to handle models for additive manufacturing processes as precise, intelligent, and light B-Rep geometry. 4D_Additive has the ability to save optimized CAD models and the complete nested build spaces in STEP as well as tessellated formats such as AMF, 3MF, STL, OBJ and many more.

For automation of the 3D printing process it is important that 3D printing software provides fast and precise 2D and 3D nesting capabilities enabling maximum automation. The nesting operation in 4D_Additive includes a function that achieves a high and predefined density of the build space, saving time by removing labor-intensive manual work, which reflects in the cost and quality of printed parts. It is important that nesting is carried out with a collision detection task and an even distribution of parts to avoid printing errors and heat concentration. Features like duplication of parts, by taking the real shape instead of the bounding box into consideration, as well as the minimum distance and positioning order of large parts help to make the most out of the workspace of a 3D printer and ensure the production of the maximum number of components per machine.

Advanced surface texturing gives the user the ability to easily texture and define CAD models with more than 5,000 predefined surface texture structures as well as the possibility of user-defined surface structures by ordinary bitmaps. Advanced texturing allows real-time viewing of the designed geometry and ignites the creative process of designing new parts. The textures can be applied on STL and is even easier to use on exact CAD models.

The software also includes advanced geometry analysis and repair functions, not only for STL models but also for precise CAD data. The advantage of speed and precision, enabled by the B-Rep kernel of the software, also allows for a quality check, and healing which also handles the exact and light, original B-Rep data. This makes it possible to prepare 3D printing models in accordance with CAD engineering standards based on exact geometry coming from CAD systems like CATIA, NX, SOLIDWORKS, Creo, STEP, and JT, just to name a few. The checking and healing functions analyze CAD models and automatically eliminate gaps, overlaps, mini-elements, twisted faces and other errors.

Printing analysis functions indicate areas with small wall thickness or massive zones. These areas are shown on the model in color and provide information for the component design related to a chosen printing technology or the positioning of the component in the build space of the 3D printer. Integrated backlash analysis detects small details and holes that are too small to be printed correctly. The multi-criteria positioning function is capable of visualizing the expected surface quality in real time and achieves optimum orientation of the part within a very short time. Additionally, inexperienced users can benefit from intelligent functions driving the automation of additive manufacturing processes. The user can generate specific 3D printing support structures for FDM, SLA, DLP and so-called cocoons. The automatic analysis identifies areas where support structures are needed for manufacturing.

Parts that are too large for the build space of a 3D printer, can be split with different patterns such as T-Shape, dovetail, and puzzle shapes. The split models are solid geometry and can be perfectly mated after printing. 4D_Additive allows material saving and reduces heat input through hollow and lattice structures.

The slicing and hatching module provides many different options which are feasible for different 3D printing methods in connection with the machine that has been chosen from the software’s machine and technology database. The build manager also makes it possible to generate and save exact slicing curves as vector graphics and save the results in slicing formats like: cli, sli, abf, svg, usf and g-code.


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