BMF Material Technology, a Guangdong-based Chinese micro/nano-scale 3D printing service provider has partnered with Onshape (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a cloud-based CAD software tool, to provide customers with real-time CAD modeling support.
The CEO of BMF, Dr. Xiaoning He believes that the partnership will enable BMF customers and specialists to work more efficiently and in a more collaborative way.
He explained, “before using Onshape, we had to email CAD files back and forth with our customers. But now we can have our team in China and our customers overseas work together on the same model at the same time. It has really improved our efficiency and speed, and Onshape is the only CAD system that can deliver this capability.”
Nano 3D printing with Onshape
The BMF nanoArch system uses a range of resins and its trademark PμLSE (Projection Micro Litho Stereo Exposure) technology, which is based on projection micro-stereolithography (PµSL) technology for micro-fabrication.
PµSL combines stereolithography and projection lithography techniques and UV flash to polymerize microstructures. The end products of this process are millimeter and micrometer-sized fabrications which are often used as endoscopes and cardiac stents.
Apart from bringing real-time CAD support to the table, Onshape also offers an editing log feature. Each edit of a 3D model is saved, the user can pick any version from the timeline and restore the design to a previous state.
He said, “the edit history log is a huge advantage for us, it speeds up the learning curve for our customers […] Onshape will help us teach our clients how to deliver better designs the next time.”
3D printing and on-demand cloud-based services
In 2016, Cadenas and Electronic Product Catalogs partnered to integrate part models into Onshape’s database. This made over 400 3D CAD models freely available from the software to engineers and builders.
Last year, Onshape founder John McEleney spoke with 3D Printing Industry about future users preferring cloud-based CAD modeling. McEleney believed that one reason for this is Onshape’s support for version history, which gives users more control over their design.
In a similar vein, Xometry, the on-demand manufacturing provider recently added HOOPS Communicator to their quoting engine. With this update, the users can see their 3D models in precise detail for design and manufacturing feedback.
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Feature image shows a micro-sized fiber connector by BMF. Image via BMF