APB provides a 3D interactive environment that enables Manufacturing Engineers to optimize powder bed fusion manufacturing techniques. APB makes it easy for Engineers to setup, program, analyze, and re-use additive manufacturing processes.
APB lets users choose the proper material and machine, which can then be stored as a configuration for reuse. To fully optimize the production set-up, engineers can automatically nest parts or adjust the part placement manually on the build tray. Users can create diverse support structures with or without perforation, fragmentation, attachments to stabilize the part, or use APB to recognize zones, then add supports where needed automatically. Users can generate scanned paths based on the 3D geometry and apply appropriate strategies to control quality variables for both parts and supports for printers using one or several lasers. The build plate with parts and supports to be printed can be output in 3MF, AMF and STL formats. The laser path can be output under specific printer format such as MTT for Renishaw printers. This helps improve quality of the part, mitigate waste, and shorten the time required to print a quality part.
Basic design capabilities are available to help additive manufacturing engineers refine a part design for the fabrication process. Using an intuitive interface, these apps provide a full suite of powerful tools for designing and validating components to support production engineering at all levels of the enterprise.
Cost & Time prediction
The relative cost of the additive materials and the time related to the full process can be predicted at any step. This provides the user with useful business information to go into production.
Validate the additive process virtually
Process prove-out on the additive machine can take a lot of time and material, only to repeat the process multiple times to successfully produce a part. The Powder Bed Machine Programmer role allows users to validate the additive process virtually. Using APB, users can identify or engineer the appropriate supports, and type of machine used. They can select the appropriate material /powder, beam direction and intensity, as well as layer thickness, and then adjust their process virtually.
A simplified user interface for non-expert users
Additive researchers and machine programmers can easily input and adjust the proper parameters for printing.
Automatic part placement and orientation
APB has rule-based nesting capabilities to orient parts on the print tray to the best manufacturing direction. If no existing configuration or manufacturing direction is available, APB will compute the most effective orientation for saving powder and time and for minimizing supports. APB can avoid positioning parts in low-precision areas of the build tray, taking coating blade direction into account.
Automatically generates supports
APB provides linear, conical, tree or lattice supports to prepare designs for powder bed manufacturing. APB utilizes a rule-based approach to identify the appropriate areas for supports to be used. The user can also implement their preferred method of using supports. Diamond or square-shaped perforations can be introduced into the support to reduce the amount of material necessary for the support structure. Fragmentation can also be introduced to separate the supports into smaller sections. Perforations and fragmentation both facilitate the support removal operation.
Modify any created supports
APB provides full capability to modify all supports created manually or automatically. Support attachments to the part or the build tray can be modified through the compass to avoid interferences with other supports or build plates’ restricted areas. Perforation, fragmentation & anchor can be modified on one or several supports through multi-edition capabilities.
Create the laser path
APB generates a laser path based on the 3D geometry. Users can then implement a variety of techniques including back-and-forth, hatching, chess pattern, as well as contouring and morphing operations. They can also adjust laser management parameters such as power, speed, spot diameter and melting depth.
Manager multi-laser printers
If the printer is equipped with several lasers, the programmer is able to associate parts or regions to each laser. The scan path simulation shows, layer by layer, the motion of each laser using different colors and delivers information related to the usage rate.
Program the additive system
APB has the ability to program the additive system. Once the laser path has been created, it can then be translated to APT code to be loaded into the additive system, or other outputs are available such as 3MF, AMF and MTT (Renishaw).
Re-usable best practices
Once the optimum laser path, material, laser parameters, machine, etc. are defined, they can be stored as templates to be used again. These best practices for additive manufacturing can be searched and applied to other parts of the same type.
Design and validate a part before printing
Manufacturing Engineers can rework the part design using Boolean operations. This allows the removal of small holes or the replacement of bigger holes by auto-supporting shapes such as diamonds, adding thickness on functional surfaces that will be removed in post-treatment to conform to the geometrical constraints. These geometrical modifications will result in a part that can be finished downstream applications.
Additional controls offer new capabilities for the preparation of parts for 3D printing
- Define fillets between the support and build plate
- To avoid cracks during cool down, fillets can be definedbetween the support attachments and the build plate
- Identify support zones with the new tool bar(Figure 2)
- Enable supports between two parts
- Minimizes the number of supports for complex nesting
- Provide a better cost and time estimate by utilizing additional parameters
- Reduce the impact on product time and costs
- Such as upstream steps (i.e. hourly cost of the machine or time necessary to prepare the 3DPrinter)
- Or downstream steps (i.e. heat treatment or supports removal)
2021x FD01 & FD02
Manage multiple lasers for printing parts on a single build layout. While one laser is working, another one can be printing another section. Laser paths are displayed by color and layer, as well as the percentage as each laser progresses. Multi-laser management can result in significantly reduced production times and cost savings
Labelling with automatic indentation allows traceability of the parts. Define your own labelling strategy and let the software creating the text and the indentation related to the number of part that will printed on the build plate.
Additional Additive Manufacturing enhancements include:
- Assign different parameters on the re-coater, which provides more precise cost & time estimates when forecasting print production
- Machine wait times, speed, and laser performance are all taken into account and results in a more accurate print time estimate
- A more precise model of the support structure provides an accurate thermo-mechanical simulation
APB was repackaged for 2021x with the following 2020x roles:
Save time and energy by archiving best practices for reuse
Engineers can retrieve previously produced designs, using existing additive machines, build trays and powder specifications to define supports and set laser attributes. They can run a similar-part search to find an existing configuration and its template, then apply it automatically to supports and laser path parameters.
Optimized part positioning
Automatically optimizing the part positions on the build tray lets users increase part production without compromising each part’s integrity. By controlling where the part is printed on the tray helps ensure part quality.
Creation of supports
Users of APB can generate Lattice, Conical and Linear supports for their geometry. This adds flexibility by allowing the user to develop different strategies for the additive process.
APB can output multiple files such as STL (binary and ASCII), AMF, 3MF and slicing format: CLI (binary and ASCII), SLC, and MTT (Renishaw) files. This allows the user to implement a wide variety of 3D printers and additive systems to better accommodate their production scenario.
Create or modify any 3D part
Part Design Essentials apps gives you best-in-class features combined with Boolean operations. Choose between several features (offset, thickness, scaling) to prepare the printed part to support downstream applications such as machining, wire EDM, or anticipate the part distortion.
Create complex surfaces
Generative wireframe & surface functionality provides an extensive set of tools for creating and modifying mechanical surfaces for complex shapes or hybrid parts.
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