At Formnext 2021, Materialise, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, has presented innovations intended to enable companies to optimise and expand AM operations. Materialise embeds a CAD-workflow into Magics and accelerates the creation of the Materialise software platform for AM. Recent manufacturing use cases are said to illustrate the successful application of AM for product development and serial production.
Formnext attendees will be among the first to preview the newest updates to Magics, Materialise’s software solution for data and build preparation. Magics 26 is anticipated to launch in Spring 2022, with significant updates – such as a CAD-Kernel integration – that will help advance end-to-end workflows.
“For years, the 3D printing industry has discussed whether CAD or mesh is the preferred workflow for file preparation,” stated Stefaan Motte, VP of Software at Materialise. “We believe both offer unique benefits and a seamless integration of both formats will provide users with the optimal workflow.”
With the updated release, Magics users can utilise CAD for part editing and mesh-based operations for platform preparation, using solutions that the company states are ‘tried and true’. This is expected to enable users to easily review and edit parts with designers and engineers who are familiar with CAD systems before transitioning to mesh for platform and build preparation.
Magics Storefront, Materialise’s new cloud-based e-commerce solution, will also be on display at Formnext. Storefront integrates with Materialise’s Magics software, automating the intake and sales process of AM factories and facilitating communication with customers. This enables AM factories to provide real-time updates to customers about the status of build orders and any possible delays.
Earlier this month, Materialise agreed to exercise the option to acquire Link3D Inc. The two companies plan to host a presentation, “Powering the AM Champions – Materialise and Link3D Talk About the Adoption of AM at Large” on November 17 at 10:20 AM CEST.
“In recent years, we have carefully developed our platform strategy,” added Motte. “By joining forces with Link3D, we can accelerate the realisation of this strategy, which will allow our customers to define and run the most optimal, efficient and sustainable production process. Not only for the production of one-offs, but, in particular, for scaling production in complex and distributed ecosystems.”
At Formnext, Materialise will also showcase its latest technologies intended to optimise the AM production process. This new Software Development Kit (SDK) for Build Processors offers machine builders a lean way to develop software solutions for AM machines. This is expected to allow users to speed up product development and match customers’ needs for connectivity and reliability while getting the best out of their machines.
Manufacturing companies and AM users may benefit from this software solution whenever they need to develop and qualify build parameters. The Materialise Process Tuner is said to streamline the process parameter development with automated workflows, insights and an embedded database, thereby reducing the manual work associated with introducing new machines and materials into production lines.
Fine-tuning AM processes helps organisations improve efficiency and meet application specific requirements; a recent collaboration between Rosswag and Materialise is said to illustrate the impact of the Materialise Process Tuner.
Materialise will also present applications using AM for serial production, as well as the latest addition to its material portfolio: C465 Stainless Steel, an age-hardenable alloy, well suited for producing high-performance metal parts in demanding environments, C465 is said to offer good strength and toughness, and high corrosion resistance. These properties are desirable for end-use parts in the aerospace, medical, and maritime industries. Applications include hand tools, plastic injection moulds, oil & gas drilling machines, and other industrial equipment.
Showcased on the company’s Formnext booth will be additively manufactured metal parts for a high-end racing bike and an eVTOL aircraft. To achieve weight savings and cost-efficient serial production for its new racing bike, Dogma F, Pinarello teamed up with Materialise. Using a customised production workflow including labelling and quality inspection, Materialise manufactured 20,000 parts, where each batch of 2,000 parts went from order to delivery in three weeks. LIFT Aircraft utilised Materialise’s D&E and manufacturing services to accelerate the development of their eVTOL and to source end-use parts. Working together, LIFT Aircraft and Materialise engineers were reportedly able to reduce the weight of a key titanium part by 40%. In total, LIFT Aircraft’s eVTOL contains over 100 AM parts.
Materialise will be exhibiting at Formnext in Hall 12.1, Booth E139.