3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has expanded its GrabCAD Software Partner Program to six companies with the addition of additive manufacturing technology firm Teton Simulation.
Teton Simulation becomes the first partner to utilize the program’s new GrabCAD Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) Software Development Kit (SDK) designed to help customers improve the reliability of their 3D printed builds.
As part of joining the program, Teton Simulation’s SmartSlice application will be integrated as a plug-in to the GrabCAD Print workflow software for the validation and optimization of print parameters for FDM 3D printing.
“Our focus is on making it easier for advanced manufacturing initiatives to integrate 3D printing on the factory floor for maximum productivity,” said Paul Giaconia, Vice President of Software Products for Stratasys. “One of the keys to scaling 3D printing into production is to make it easy for engineers and designers to create and validate digital product designs using their CAD and Simulation tools where additive manufacturing could provide the best solution.
“Adding Teton Simulation integrated with GrabCAD Print directly solves the design for additive manufacturing challenge.”
The GrabCAD Software Partner Program
Stratasys launched its GrabCAD program in December with the goal of better integrating its FDM 3D printers into factory floor production environments. The program aims to facilitate two-way connectivity between the firm’s machines and various enterprise software applications in order to provide more sophisticated processes for remote monitoring and sending and receiving printer commands.
Initial partners of the program included 3D printing software provider Link3D, San Francisco-headquartered software firm Identify3D, and industrial manufacturing firm Siemens. Stratasys has since added additive manufacturing software startup IndusIntel and cybersecurity software firm Vistory to its list of GrabCAD partners.
Each software partner utilizes the GrabCAD SDK package, equipped with a complete set of application programming interfaces, documentation, and code samples, to facilitate two-way connectivity between their software applications and Stratasys’ machines.
Shortly before the launch of the program, Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif identified the firm’s GrabCAD software as a source of future growth for the company, and predicted it would play a key part in future Industry 4.0 integration.
Bringing DfAM capabilities onboard
Upon joining the GrabCAD program, Teton Simulation’s SmartSlice application will be released as a plug-in for the GrabCAD Print workflow software to increase the ease of validating and optimizing the print parameters for FDM 3D printing.
SmartSlice enables users to assess the performance of objects before printing them, reducing the number of product iterations required to produce end-use parts. The plug-in is specifically targeted at reducing the uncertainties surrounding final part performance, and is designed to ensure 3D printed parts meet functional and performance requirements while increasing print speed, minimizing material waste, and ultimately lowering costs.
“We are proud to be the first ‘design for additive manufacturing’ software partner to integrate with GrabCAD Print via the GrabCAD DFAM SDK,” said Doug Kenik, Teton Simulation CEO. “Given Stratasys’ leadership position in polymer additive manufacturing, we see a very large opportunity to help customers design better parts. As additive manufacturing continues to push into production workflows, software will help to dramatically reduce cycle times and instill confidence that the printed part will function as desired.”
Kenik added that the GrabCAD program signals that the market is ready for the growth of additive manufacturing, and believes Teton’s SmartSlice technology will be key in pushing this growth forwards.
Going forwards, Stratasys plans to provide SDK support to more of its 3D printing technologies with availability of its GrabCAD DfAM SDK expected later this year.
“Software is central to Industry 4.0 and the additive manufacturing value proposition,” added Ryan Martin, Research Director at ABI Research. “A robust software ecosystem enables the management of networked fleets of 3D printers, improves flexibility and agility, and facilitates the level of quality and reliability expected of modern production applications.
“Manufacturers must consider the strength of their 3D printing partners’ software ecosystems as they look to expand their use of additive manufacturing, a trend Stratasys is well-positioned to take advantage of as AM moves from the lab and into a more prominent spot on the factory floor.”
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Featured image shows Stratasys has added Teton Simulation to its GrabCAD Software Partner Program. Image via Stratasys.