Dyndrite, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, USA, has announced support for the new Open Vector Format (.ovf), developed by the RWTH Aachen University Chair Digital Additive Production DAP, within its Dyndrite Laser Powder Bed Fusion software. OVF provides a streamlined data link between the digital and physical process, enabling efficient manufacturing processes while reputedly offering advantages over existing formats, such as CLI and 3MF.
“We developed OVF because there was no satisfactory format for 2.5-dimensional data that was both open-readable and contained additional information besides the actual toolpath,” stated Moritz Kolter, Group Manager Digital Production, RWTH Aachen University Chair Digital Additive Production DAP. “OVF, however, is able to process data after slicing in a performant, readable manner and is also able to link other information such as 3D part data or metadata. This is especially important in order to have a fully linked end-to-end data chain that will drive the industrialisation of AM. For example, we use it for advanced production planning or part orientation algorithms to further promote the sustainable and efficient use of technologies such as LPBF.”
OVF is an open-source data format developed by scientists at RWTH Aachen University Chair Digital Additive Production DAP in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT. It is based on the widely used serialisation technology Protocol Buffers (Protobuf) which handles the transfer of information from complex structured data objects into a byte stream. OVF provides an open format for controlling a laser in combination with a galvanometer scanner and supports multi scanfield arrays as well as additional machine axis controls.
Additionally, it offers compact binary storage of all data, as well as flexible forward and backward compatibility. It transports Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing process-relevant metadata, such as the manufacturing parameters, laser power, and scanning speed, along the process chain.
OVF structures are flexible and can be extended to support the latest digital developments. A broad portfolio of tools such as converters for legacy formats (e.g., converting CLI to OVF files) and integrity check routine (e.g., checking whether contours are closed, parameters are assigned and layers are without gaps) are available on the OVF Github.
Harshil Goel, CEO, Dyndrite, commented, “Dyndrite’s core vision is to change how geometry is created, transformed and transmitted on a computer. The OVF format is a very logical step towards improving how complex structured toolpath data can be transmitted in a performant and compact way. Only through open source advances like OVF can Additive Manufacturing improve its adoption, democratisation and industrialisation rate.”
Steve Walton, Head of Product at Dyndrite, added, “As we developed our internal metadata models to provide a rational and robust API to generate toolpath strategies for many different machine types, machine configurations, or specific component classes, we discovered that the OVF format was aligned with our intent to enable new parameter and exposure strategies using flexible, and user extensible data structures. Further, the ability to stream this data format will enable the real time generation, transport, and modification of toolpaths from process sensors.”
OVF is reported to be one of the only formats that can receive the level of toolpath complexity, and flexibility, that Dyndrite provides. Partnering with Aachen to make these strategies available to the end user accelerates this availability, as most existing formats are optimised and generally restricted for the stock machine configuration and legacy toolpath approaches.
Dyndrite explains that a standard format for the output data of the PBF-LB process currently does not exist. Instead, numerous formats, which are either proprietary or were developed for other production processes, are used. Accordingly, these disparate formats lack the relevant information for production using PBF-LB. Open Vector Format (OVF) is intended to solve this problem. Dyndrite has incorporated OVF export directly within its ADK and LPBF products.