Additive manufacturing technology has opened up possibilities for product design that only a few years ago were not even possible. Similarly, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform from Dassault Systèmes has opened up possibilities for product development we didn’t have a few years ago. By leveraging the two together, we can take advantage of the collaboration, analysis, and on-demand capabilities available to make our designs and prototypes better and quicker than ever before. In this blog, we are going to explore the different tools and solutions available (at the moment) to print your 3D designs inside of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Exporting Models From 3DEXPERIENCE
The most basic way of getting a file that can be used to 3D print your design is by exporting it from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform as an STL or 3MF file. This can be achieved with the Export tool. If using one of the more popular design applications (like xShape or xDesign) and clicking the drop-down next to the Save command, you will see the Export tool. Within the tool, you can choose if you want to export the file to your 3DDrive for easier collaboration with other users at your company, or you can export it to your computer.
You can also select the file format (STL or 3MF are generally accepted by all slicer programs) and the resolution of your export (how closely the exported geometry matches your original design). Once you export your file, you can take it to your preferred slicer software to send to your printer.
Using the 3D Print Tool
If you would like a little more control over the printing process, there is a second option for exporting files titled 3D Print command. This command allows you to select your 3D printer to easily visualize how your model will fit within your print bed.
You can reorient your model by selecting a plane, or face, that you want to use as a base as well as get a preview of areas where you may need to add support. The benefit of this tool is that it allows you to perform a lot of the setup work that would normally need to be done in the slicer or printer software, right from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Clicking on the Export Print Format button will take you to the Export tool mentioned previously, where you can export your model with your preferred scaling and orientation.
Additive Manufacturing Roles
If your primarily focus is additive manufacturing, there are different roles available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform which ultimately help you set up the entire DfAM process.
The Additive Manufacturing Programmer role gives you access to the Powder Bed Fabrication app. This app lets you define an additive manufacturing process which covers all steps from preparing 3D objects on the build tray to exporting output information files to your printer. You can define the build layout and prepare the part for the additive manufacturing process, as well as create support structure and generate slicing and scan paths.
The Additive Manufacturing Researcher role gives you access to the Additive Manufacturing Scenario app. This app is used to define and perform simulations of the additive manufacturing process and consists of an assistant panel which lets you define a finite element analysis. This adds the benefit of being able to define part and support properties, moving heat sources, material deposition, and laser or nozzle paths.
The possibilities with 3D printing are boundless, but often the limiting factor is your access to printers and materials. There may not be a cost benefit to owning specialized additive manufacturing machines if your 3D printing needs are few and far between. For this reason, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform gives us access to the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace.
The Marketplace connects you to on-demand manufacturing service providers. You can get an instant quote for 3D printing and select the best partner from the over 200 qualified service providers. Right from within your design applications in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, you can select the Make command to submit your model to the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace.
There are many tools and applications within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform specifically designed to meet the needs of users and companies who have started to rely on 3D printing as a method of manufacturing. The ability to 3D print the models being created in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a great way of taking the ideas in your workflow from design to parts, all the while benefiting from its collaborative tools.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform opens your company up to a myriad of new solutions and features to help make your life easier and assist you in designing faster. Watch our free webinar "Top 5 Ways to Speed Up the Design Process Using 3DEXPERIENCE" to see more.