3D printing software generates STEP data

3D printing software generates STEP data

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The new version of CoreTechnologie’s 4D_Additive software enables accurate B-REP CAD data in all common native and standard formats to be used for preparing 3D print data and, for the first time, allows repaired and optimized STEP models to be written out of 3D printing software. With the new version 1.4, users can save the repaired CAD data as exact geometry according to the STEP standard (ISO 10303). It is also possible to save the support structures automatically generated in the software as exact STEP models and then process them further in the CAD system or use them for FEM analysis.

By using exact models imported in STEP format as well as other common native formats such as CATIA, NX, CREO and Solidworks, the tool enables precise analysis and repair of the models. Until now, 3D printing has mainly used triangulated STL models, which are only an approximation of real CAD geometry. With the B-Rep core of the new software, the models are accurately repaired and modeled specifically for 3D printing. This enables the software to quickly generate offset surfaces for subsequent over-milling of fits or diameter changes for Ensat bushings.

One advantage of the exact geometries compared to STL models, in addition to the higher accuracy, is a lower memory requirement for the data. Thus, extensive building platforms with hundreds of parts are stored in a compact file size. The 4D_Additive Manufacturing Software enables a 3D printing process with inspection, repair and preparation of models in accordance with CAD engineering standards long established for other common production methods.

In addition to an innovative texture module for surface refinement and automatic component labeling, the software also has repair and modeling functions. Automated part alignment and intelligent nesting functions with multiprocessor calculation enable reliable and fast filling and optimal use of the installation space for all common machine types. Special analysis functions ensure collision safety, optimum heat distribution and production-oriented component design and complete the software in terms of a continuous additive manufacturing process.

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