Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, headquartered in Cobham, Surrey, UK, has announced a new partnership with CADS Additive, Perg, Austria, in an effort to progress Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) via technology exchange. Under the agreement, Hexagon has integrated CADS Additive’s material-saving support structure generation technology into its Simufact Additive software, while CADS Additive will integrate Hexagon’s build simulation capabilities into its AM-Studio software.
The Simufact Additive software is intended to optimise production and compensate distortions resulting from Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) and metal Binder Jetting (BJT) to deliver high-quality parts with minimal waste. The latest version, released in November 2021, introduces support structure creation provided by CADS Additive, which is expected to enable the further reduction of manufacturing preparation effort, material costs and build time.
“We have been very impressed with CADS Additive’s support structure capabilities and the team’s passion for pushing the boundaries of Additive Manufacturing,” stated Patrick Mehmert, Solution Manager – Metal AM at Hexagon. “This complements our build simulation perfectly, enabling customers to not only optimise the material and process used to make the part, but to provide complete control over the creation of highly efficient and innovative support structures that significantly reduce material waste.”
Utilising the integration, users can create lightweight hollow rod supports, complex line or block supports, and achieve further optimisation of material utilisation with access to the high-stiffness ‘heart cell’ support structures and metal-optimised tree supports. These support structures can be added to parts using a native Simufact Additive interface that utilises all the features of the CADS Additive technology. This deep integration provides the user control over support structure parameters and enables the user to simulate the support structure and part build without additional steps or software.
Under the new partnership, CADS Additive has also licensed build process simulation capabilities from Hexagon that will be embedded in its AM-Studio software to enable customers to validate their build feasibility and predict distortions to avoid print issues.
Daniel Stadlmayr, Technical Director, CADS Additive, commented, “This collaboration is a win for all the industry. We are pleased that Hexagon has chosen to implement our additive support technology in Simufact Additive. Having such accurate build simulation really helps manufacturers to get the best quality results from their printer and reduce failure, and we are pleased that we can offer our AM-Studio customers greater confidence before they commit to print.”