MSL adds nTopology to product range of metrology solutions for AM

March 10, 2022

MSL has added nTopology to its core product range of metrology services (Courtesy MSL/nTopology)

Measurement Solutions Limited (MSL), a provider of 3D scanning, inspection and metrology services, headquartered in Peterborough, UK, has announced that nTopology is now part of its core product range. This will enable the company to supply end-to-end solutions across the full process chain from scanning, through design, to measurement of the final part.

With this partnership, Creaform scanners can be utilised to produce highly accurate CAD models of existing parts, which can then be imported into nTopology for light-weighting, optimisation, modification for AM and other operations to improve performance and manufacturing efficiency. MSL states that nTopology allows designers and engineers to leverage the benefits of Additive Manufacturing and advanced manufacturing, especially in the areas of lightweighting, architected materials, thermal management, industrial design, mass-customisation and manufacturing/tooling.

nTopology also offers potential with data-driven design. Data can be derived from inbuilt FEA simulations and the results used to drive key design aspects such as shape (topology-optimisation/generative-design), variable wall thicknesses and lattice structures. Analysis can be carried out within the software using thermal, static, modal and buckling simulations, or potentially multiple data sets (multi-physics optimisation). Data from other FEA studies such as fluid simulations can also be imported into nTopology from external sources and models exported out of nTopology for verification in alternative software systems.

Repeatable workflows are another key aspect that sets nTopology apart from other CAD systems. A series of ‘blocks’ can be set up to perform a sequence of tasks such as shelling, infilling, topology optimisation and part marking to name just a few. Traditional, ‘B-rep’ modelling is fundamentally fragile and therefore unsuitable for anything but the simplest of automation routines.

A ‘workflow’ can be reused by importing a new CAD model (or scan) and allowing the workflow to automatically run. This has enormous benefits for mass customisation of consumer parts and patient-specific orthotics and implants. The sheer speed that design and analysis workflows can be iterated is unrivalled by traditional CAD packages, especially when batch processing via the GUI or CLI.

Andrew Tagg, Managing Director at MSL, stated, “With over twenty-four years experience supplying the UK industry with measuring equipment and Creaform scanning solutions, we see a natural customer fit for the addition of the nTopology software across many sectors, from heavy industry, aerospace, automotive and energy through to motorsport and Formula 1.”

“Creaform’s scanning products are now an integral part of most design or R&D process workflows. Scan data can drive many downstream deliverables such as data capture for re-engineering legacy components for digital twin purposes, model creation of legacy parts, fixtures and tooling design or design improvement,” Tagg continued. “Our Vx Model software has embedded links to most major CAD software solutions, such as Solidworks and SolidEdge, whereby the scan data is utilised in either .stl, NURBS surface or as a parametric model. We have seen more and more customers using our solutions to drive additive designs and component creation.”

“We have a significant number of existing customers in the UK, and we work with them closely to understand the pain points in their processes. With nTopology we are now able to offer additional benefits to complement traditional CAD and Analysis software options. The intention is not to suggest customers replace their existing design software as we recognise the value of it and the significant investment that has gone into implementing and maintaining these systems,” Tagg concluded.

Joe Winston, nTopology Account Manager at MSL, commented, “nTopology has the potential to be a real game-changer in the AM industry. Its unique abilities and features give engineers the possibility to really leverage the capabilities of AM machines. Anyone who has invested in a high-capability 3D printer should really consider making the most of their investment with the right software. nTopology is a great fit with MSL’s current product range, and I’m really looking forward to introducing the software to MSL’s established customer base within the UK.”

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