CAD Engineering Standard for Additive Manufacturing

CAD Engineering Standard for Additive Manufacturing

In order to cope with the fast development of additive manufacturing and a higher accuracy needed for the production of small series we introduced our new, powerful software suite 4D_Additive.

The unique feature of 4D_Additive is that CAD data of all current systems is read by precise native interfaces and processed as exact B-Rep geometry also including all product manufacturing information (PMI).

4D_Additive makes it possible to analyze, repair and prepare the 3D models with highest precision and according to CAD engineering standards. With conventional 3D printing software, CAD models are usually triangulated, i.e. converted to STL already in the reading process, which makes it technically impossible to handle or repair the geometry without deviating its original shape. In comparison 4D_Additive avoids such deviations because of its exact geometry kernel and the fact that CAD models remain in their original mathematical description until the end of the process. In the final slicing step, depending on the machine type, also exact vector graphics can be generated. These exact curves can be processed directly as straight lines, circles and arcs. 4D_Additive reads native CATIA, NX, SOLIDWORKS, CREO, INVENTOR as well as IGES, STEP and JT files. To save the data the software also supports 3MF, AMF STL and all major slicing formats.

The new software has a modern easy-to-use user interface and innovative features such as automatic 3D nesting as well as a collision check and distance control for automated and safe placement of the parts in the build space. The dynamic roughness analysis enables the user to determine the optimal alignment of the part within seconds in order to achieve the best possible surface quality, shortest manufacturing time or lowest costs. The tool also comprises an automatic support geometry generation needed e.g. for FDM or metal laser sintering. The know-how database of the system contains settings for all major machine types and related information about the additive manufacturing method so that important parameters are preset when the user selects a machine.

Also the module for texture generation is easy to use and based on the exact geometry which allows for the precise definition of the texture also on the transitions of the faces. More than 5,000 predefined textures are available for the system. Particularly in connection with high-resolution processes such as HP JetFusion, impressive parts are being produced.

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