Following the major release of Netfabb 2017 in September, Autodesk is doubling-down on its vision of Netfabb as a true end-to-end additive manufacturing solution. The company has bolstered the software with enhanced simulation capabilities, new hybrid manufacturing functionality and collaborative multi-head 3D printing.
The additions further extend Netfabb’s lead as a complete solution for additive manufacturing, allowing customers to test, optimize, prepare and 3D print commercial-quality products.
Autodesk Netfabb helps additive manufacturing professionals move from CAD design to finished part efficiently. With its connected software for additive manufacturing and design, Netfabb provides valuable insight to help businesses large and small improve material selection, process simulation to validate build strategies, optimize designs and drive machines.
“Not only is Netfabb easy to use, it does much of the heavy lifting in preparing models for 3D printing.” Said Dan Ko, Strategic Initiatives Lead at Shapeways. “Netfabb streamlines the process of fixing common 3D print file problems for additive manufacturing. If we didn’t have Netfabb to automate a large portion of file preparation process, each build would be substantially more time consuming and labor intensive.”
In this latest update, users get new tools that will help them stay innovative and competitive in the additive manufacturing and 3D printing industry. Key new features include:
The wide-spread adoption of metal additive manufacturing has been historically slow due to the lack of predictability in the manufacturing process, as well as the high costs of iteration. Simulation for Netfabb, which is built on technology from the acquired Pan Computing, helps customers to predict and adjust for deformation, allowing part designers and manufacturing engineers to optimize designs and reduce the number of iterations required for reliable build results.
Simulation for Netfabb has been available in conjunction with a local solver since the September release. The next release will give active Netfabb subscribers access to a tech preview of a new cloud solving option. During this period, subscribers will be able to access cloud solve at no cost. The feedback we receive from our subscribers during this time will help guide the direction of this new solution before we make cloud-based simulation available as a pay-per-use capability in a future release of Netfabb.
Hybrid Subtractive and Additive Workflows
Subtractive manufacturing processes are often required to improve the surface finish and accuracy of features on additively manufactured parts. Extra material must be added to the original design to accommodate these subtractive processes, creating a larger geometry referred to as the near-net shape. Netfabb now includes solid modeling and near-net shape planning capabilities based on Autodesk (formerly Delcam) PowerShape technology.
This new hybrid manufacturing functionality allows users to keep models in solid form and take advantage of solid modeling tools aligned to CAM workflows. It also allows manufacturers to keep sight of the original solid model and easily track the near-net shape as it is built to allow for the subtractive processes. With better visibility of the original model and the near-net shape, Netfabb opens a connected workflow between build preparation and post-processing operations.
Collaborative Multi-head 3D Printing
Also included in this update is technology from Project Escher, breakthrough control technology that powers machines with multiple extrusion-based print heads working together to print a single part. This collaborative 3D printing process makes printing industrial scale parts with greater speed and detail a possibility. In keeping with Autodesk’s focus on advancing the additive industry, the company is also open-sourcing the hardware specifications and the software required to create machines with this new collaborative 3D printing capability. By doing so, hardware vendors will be able to create multi-head printers that can print parts far faster than conventional single-head printers.
“The new production, optimization and simulation tools within Netfabb are very exciting and we are delighted to be working with Autodesk to enable a streamlined additive manufacturing print experience for our joint customers,” said Stephen Anderson, Renishaw Software Director. “We look forward to future integration opportunities with our own additive manufacturing platform, which will give Autodesk Netfabb users the confidence that any toolpaths they generate will be optimized for our systems, ensuring maximum part quality every time.”
“Netfabb helps to accelerate the additive manufacturing design and production process by giving designers and engineers the tools they need to make better parts, streamline their workflows and improve the efficiency of their printers in one comprehensive software solution,” said Mark Forth, manager of manufacturing industry strategy at Autodesk. “The addition of cloud-based simulation, subtractive workflow capabilities and collaborative 3D printing means that we are now providing our customers with the most comprehensive and powerful additive solution on the market.”
Price and Availability
Existing subscribers will receive the new version automatically, as soon as the new release is available. Watch this space...