3D printing software developer CASTOR has launched its new Enterprise program that helps manufacturers to minimize their expenditure using industrial additive manufacturing.
Once installed at users’ factories, the software automatically identifies any cost reduction opportunities in the production of spare parts or assemblies. Utilizing Finite Elements Analysis tools, the platform sifts through a database of more than 30,000 components, and recommends specific parts that would benefit from being redesigned and 3D printed.
“We have seen our customers’ need for a solution that not only reveals the ‘low hanging fruits’ out of an existing design, but also identifies opportunities for Design for AM,” said Omer Blaier, Co-Founder and CEO of CASTOR. “With CASTOR Enterprise, we now provide a sophisticated tool which identifies those small changes that can have a huge impact on the company’s bottom line.”
CASTOR’s 3D printing software portfolio
Founded in 2017 and based in Israel, CASTOR provides a suite of engineering software solutions that are designed to help manufacturers drive profitability using industrial 3D printing. At present, the company’s portfolio includes its CASTOR Light and White Label solutions, as well as its newly-released Enterprise offering.
CASTOR’s Light package represents the most basic level of its services, and it’s aimed at the new adopters of 3D printing that are seeking “low hanging fruit,” or to optimize their existing designs. The software effectively analyzes a client’s CAD file, and recommends the ideal 3D printing technology and material for producing the part, before referring them to a service bureau.
The company’s White Label platform, meanwhile, is built to provide tailor-made lead generation tools, that enable established adopters of 3D printing to make further cost savings. Considering that CASTOR recently helped Nexa3D to develop its Ximplify cost analysis tool, this suggests that the firm is now targeting the longer-term users of 3D printing technologies.
An Enterprising new method of cost control
CASTOR has developed its Enterprise software with the aim of “making life simpler” for firms and engineers that engage in low-volume production. The company’s new service, which is based on a database of 30,000 parts, does so by removing much of the costly trial and error process from component development.
Enterprise may be an automated cost reduction tool, but it has been built from the ground up to allow users to modify almost every default feature of a given part. Everything from material properties, to potential operational issues such as inventory or shipment issues can be adjusted, enabling clients to get realistic feedback from the software at all times.
The process carried out by CASTOR’s new platform can broadly be divided into structural, material, geometric and financial analyses. By inputting a desired part’s wall thickness, optimal properties or necessary support materials, users can also receive consolidation suggestions, within an overall profitability analysis.
What’s more, the software can handle multiple parts at once, and using its in-built Finite Element Analysis tool, it’s capable of assessing the likelihood of their failure. As a result, users can adopt the technology knowing that its feedback can be safely relied upon, and as an offline on-premise program, it’s not dependent on network connections either.
“By automating the screening process of thousands of parts we save hours of AM professionals’ manual work,” added Blaier. “By quickly providing deep insights that can be translated into actionable decisions, we bring manufacturers closer to maximizing the potential profit from 3D printing.”
Counting the costs of 3D printing
Additive manufacturing has become an increasingly viable alternative to conventional manufacturing methods, especially in low-volume production runs. As a result, various software developers now offer analysis applications that help new adopters to identify the most cost-effective way of producing 3D printed parts.
Industrial technical solutions specialist Etteplan for instance, has developed a free online tool that helps clients to calculate the costs of switching to 3D printing. The AMOTool allows companies to assess the expenditure required to switch to metal additive manufacturing quickly, and fuss-free.
Similarly, digital manufacturing service provider 3Diligent has updated two applications from within its ‘Vulcury’ digital manufacturing platform. The firm’s ProdEX, and Shopsight programs offer users a scalable shop management system, that provides them with a higher return on investment (ROI) through advertising.
Global manufacturing marketplace Xometry, meanwhile, provides a range of CNC machining, 3D printing, injection molding, and design services via its network of partners. The company recently raised $75 million in funding, reflecting investor confidence in its online-based business model.
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Featured image shows a screenshot of CASTOR’s new Enterprise cost-reduction software in action. Image via CASTOR.