March 16

3D Printing it the ‘Netfabb’ way!

Why you should switch to Autodesk Netfabb for all your data preparation needs.

3D Printing aka Additive Manufacturing process makes three dimensional objects from digital files. This additive process refers to creation of an object by laying down successive layers of material as opposed to subtractive manufacturing. These layers can be considered thin horizontal cross sectional slices of the final product or object while being printed.

Additive manufacturing is used to build prototypes, physical models, tooling components, and production parts in plastics, glass, metal, ceramic and composite materials by bringing ideas to life. AM is a tool which expedites the product development process thus reducing cost, improving product quality and minimizing time to market. As a visualization tool, AM processes help reduce the likelihood of delivering flawed products to the market. Additive manufacturing has had a significant impact on the way companies develop and manufacture  products.

Every 3D print starts with a digital file derived from a computer aided design (CAD) software. It is then exported to a data preparation software for the generation of slice output that can be fed to the machine. The translation of the CAD design to a standard tessellation language (STL) file where the surface consists of triangulated surfaces and vertices, is followed by slicing where a 3D object is formed by consecutive building of layers. Autodesk’s Netfabb, an expert data preparation software is a comprehensive toolkit for additive manufacturing processes, right from CAD imports to preparing the build for machine. Netfabb amalgamates design enhancement, build preparation, topology optimization (weight reduction maintaining the strength of the part) and Metal AM build simulation tool (simulate the Metal AM build process and predict the support failure, recoater interference, deformation, etc.) in one software environment.

A few noteworthy features by Autodesk Netfabb:

  • With a variety of editing tools, models can be prepared by adjustments in wall thickness, smoothing rough areas (triangles) etc. which makes them suitable for manufacturing with enhancing their quality.
  • Lattice and surface optimization helps in creating lightweight parts with specific performance needs.
  • The Autodesk netfabb simulation utility predicts how a metal AM process will behave to gauge or reduce build failures, which in turn reduces costly experimental iterations.
  • Automatic packing algorithms place parts within the build volume optimally to help you keep preparation time and material consumption at its lowest.
  • The build support module helps users create semi automatic build supports quickly and conveniently in the most efficient way.

Netfabb is available in the following versions:

  1. Standard
  2. Premium
  3. Ultimate

Features of Standard Version: Some of the features of the standard version are importing the files from all leading CAD systems, preparing and modifying parts for manufacturing, an automatic file analysis and repair, 2D planar packing and report generation.

Features of Premium Version: The Premium version has advance build supports module for AM technologies which needs supports (Line supports, Cone support, Solid support), automatic 3D packing/nesting. Simulation Utility (Metal AM Process simulation) will work with cloud solver in the premium version.

Features of Ultimate Version: The Ultimate version offers you topology and lattice optimization along with all other features from the Standard and Premium versions. Topology optimization, a necessary feature for designing lightweight parts, lattice and skin optimization, and selectively applying microstructures can bring out a relative difference in the build of the model. Lattice commander tool can help create hollow structure models or even create surface lattice structure.

Simulation Utility – The metal process simulation uses multi-scale modeling to quickly analyze or predict build failures, part deformation and recoater interference. Simulation Utility Netfabb is installed as part of any Premium or Ultimate installation. For those users wanting to perform simulations on a local machine or take advantage of all of the simulation features available, users may purchase and install Netfabb Local Simulation.

Autodesk Netfabb Pricing Benefits:

The pricing of the software has been designed keeping in mind the continuous updates Autodesk has been making to improve the software’s features.

  • It works on a pay as you go (by the year) model which beneficial for the end user as he can switch over to another software anytime.
  • The price, a lower upfront cost which lets you try the software and adapt to its functioning; gives you access to 1 on 1 web support, select cloud features and software services; which only happens to be a win for the end user.

Some significant reasons to switch to Netfabb:

  • All in one software at affordable cost. .
  • Manage design optimization, manufacturing preparation and simulation.
  • Direct CAD import and file conversion capabilities that help in faster file handling.
  • Automatic repair of faults that could cause a delay in downstream processes.
  • Enhancing designs to create refined parts that are (Topology optimized) lightweight yet stiff and flexible when required.
  • Automatic packing helps in maximizing of machine output and saving material, build time.
  • Save time and reduce cost by simulating builds to verify your part’s net shape.

A one of a kind software which manages design optimization, manufacturing preparation and simulation all together; Autodesk Netfabb has incredible advantages over its equivalents. The process of data preparation, essentially a time consuming and labor intensive affair has been made automated, flexible and more convenient with this software.

You can buy the trail version, here

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