This week at SOLIDWORKS World, Stratasys is announcing an advance in GrabCAD software and an autosports collaboration.
Stratasys used SWW two years ago to introduce its F123 series of 3D printers, and is back with more at this year’s event.
GrabCAD Print Advanced FDM
Appropriate for a week filled with software, Stratasys’ first announcement this week is Advanced FDM, which was “designed to eliminate CAD-to-STL roadblock.”
GrabCAD Print, which debuted in 2016, has proven a popular and powerful bit of software as it steps up to simplify 3D printing workflow. The new Advanced FDM feature, the company says, “is aimed at ensuring design intent via intuitive model interaction to rapidly deliver strong, light, and purpose-built parts.” CAD-to-STL conversion remains a hindrance for 3D printing — we can pretty much all agree that STL is not the greatest format.
“For design and manufacturing engineers, one of the most frustrating processes is ‘dumbing down’ a CAD file to STL format – only to require subsequent re-injection of design intent into the STL printing process. This software is engineered to do away with this complexity, letting designers reduce iterations and design cycles – getting to a high-quality, realistic prototype and final part faster than ever before,” said Mark Walker, Lead Software Product Manager at Stratasys.
Advanced FDM automatically calculates 3D print toolpaths, as engineers can work with CAD-native build controls, selecting geometries and specifying attributes.
“Assigning attributes directly to CAD models, users pinpoint areas of strength and rigidity, control infills, ensure sufficient material around holes with inserts, and avoid seams. Since toolpaths are automatically generated from model assignments, the user can expect to spend significantly less time on part setup, without losing strong, high-quality, purpose-built FDM parts.”
Advanced FDM can be downloaded in GrabCAD Print (from v1.24), with capabilities supported on Stratasys’ F370, Fortus 380mc, Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition, Fortus 450mc, Fortus 400mc, Fortus 900mc, and F900.
Andretti Autosport collaboration
Stratasys is also announcing a multi-year collaboration with Andretti Autosport.
3D printing has been put to use in a good many races, and Stratasys has worked with many of those teams. Now the F370 and Fortus 450mc 3D printers are coming into use for design and production for Andretti Autosport.
“We have been looking for the right partner to add 3D capability to our design and development activities for a while now,” said Andretti Autosport COO Rob Edwards. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to establish a relationship with the industry leader, Stratasys. Since the machines were commissioned they have been operating at capacity and we look forward to seeing the benefits of our expanded capability on the race track in 2019.”
Andretti participates in IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, and FIA Formula E auto sports. Accelerating design and development is a major advantage in a sport where speed is everything. In-house 3D printing allows for the teams to be hands-on in their own development cycles, and this team, led by Michael Andretti, is gearing up for the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season that starts next month.
“We are excited to join the Andretti Autosport family and look forward to working together in the coming years,” said Pat Carey, Senior Vice President at Stratasys. “We see that Stratasys High Performance FDM solutions are being increasingly adopted by the world’s top motorsports teams and manufacturers. We believe that our highly reliable engineering grade printers and wide choice of high-performance materials are the perfect fit for the extreme challenges our motorsport customers face.”
This week at SWW, we’re catching up with the Stratasys team for the stories behind these stories.