One of the challenges of additive manufacturing is the software used to prepare a design for 3D printing. Many companies are working in developing easier to use software that handles such tasks as orientation, proper build location, and so on for each of the different additive technologies.
Sculpteo recently announced that it will release a new 3D printing management software program it is calling AMT. This program should be available later this year.
Sculpteo, on its blog, released some information on one of the main features of AMT—part orientation.
Sculpteo has developed a parametric algorithm for calculating metal orientations. This algorithm also allows customizable “orientation profiles” so that you can tweak the algorithm’s weighting of factors such as z-height, supported surface area and more to specific requirements.
Manual orientation is also available for non-supported materials (SLS Polymers) or for an in-house expert to tweak the calculated orientation for specific cases.
Sculpteo gave several examples using TiAl6V4. In one example, an experienced additive manufacturing engineer may choose a left orientation, while the AMT’s algorithm chose a right orientation. All supports were block supports with a 0.7mm XY hatching added from > 45° overhang.
By introducing automation to this process, AMT can accelerate the orientation phase for most pieces so that the in-house expert can focus on the tougher cases. For most parts, the computed orientation is fine and the expert needs only sign off on it, other times it finds a counter-intuitive solution that can inspire the expert for future pieces.
To use, a designer selects a predefined orientation profile, consisting of preselected weightings for the orientation algorithm, and hits “Orient.” The system will then find the optimal orientation for that profile. User defined custom settings are also an option.
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