CAD Tech News (#126)

7 May, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff

Pandemic Spotlights 3D Printing's Potential to Change Product Development Status Quo, Stratasys Says

The launch of the full-color, office-oriented J55 3D printer comes at a moment of exceptional supply chain disruption, which increases the appeal of in-house part and prototype creation.

By Cadalyst Staff

Stratasys recently launched its office-friendly, multicolor-capable J55 3D printer, and both the "virtual launch event" — which featured presentations delivered in home offices — and the product messaging were heavily influenced by the current coronavirus crisis. "3D printing is more relevant today than it ever has been before," said event host Liz Miklya, senior vice-president of PR firm Weber Shandwick. "We are in a time when businesses have to rely on their own resources, protect themselves from disruptions in the supply chain, innovate and create quicker — and with less contact — than ever before."

The J55 can print in nearly 500,000 colors — a few of which are displayed in these prototypes arrayed on the build plate, which rotates under a stationary print head. Image source: Stratasys.
The J55 can print in nearly 500,000 colors — a few of which are displayed in these prototypes arrayed on the build plate, which rotates under a stationary print head. Image source: Stratasys.

The answer to these challenges, according to Stratasys, is to bypass traditional product development workflows altogether. "We are living in a world of continuous acceleration ... and in this context, 3D printing is the perfect solution," said Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif. "Already today, 3D printing is essential for every step in product creation. If I look at the future, the road is paved for success, because 3D printing, given the need that we see now on a daily basis, will change the status quo — and I mean the status quo of how we are creating products," he explained. "You are not in the hand of, or in the pocket of, any supply chain. You can do whatever you want, you can design whatever you want now, with the best quality."

Zeif used the example of 3D printing addressing medical supply shortages: "You have the ability to act fast. If you need a splitter for ventilating machine, you can have it now — you don't need to design with the prototype [and then] the mold and then to make it, which can take months — you can do it tomorrow. ... [You can] practically build any product, any time, anywhere."

And these benefits are not limited to the current crisis, Miklya pointed out. "Imagine: Not having to get parts and prototypes shipped from halfway around the world," she said. "Not having to worry about elements outside of your control disrupting your work. It's not just pandemics, but also weather, import rules, misunderstandings, and lengthy shipping times."

Tim Greene, a research director for 3D printing at global research firm IDC, said in a Stratasys release that it's clear that the product design process needs to change for today's world, where disruption is always around the corner. "We know that the risk and time involved with traditional prototyping simply doesn't work anymore, yet there's no room for compromise on design," he said. "Designers can and should do a lot more prototyping in-house, from initial concept modeling to highly realistic final prototypes." Read more »

Creo 7.0 Launches with Focus on Generative and Simulation-Driven Design

PTC's 3D CAD system gets a capabilities boost with technologies from Frustum and Ansys.

By Cadalyst Staff

PTC has released a new version of its 3D CAD software, Creo 7.0, which boasts functionality powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology. In addition to core product enhancements — including improvements to draft capabilities, 2D mirror functionality, and the Sketcher tool user interface — Creo 7.0 introduces new capabilities in four key areas: generative design, simulation-driven design, multibody design, and additive manufacturing.

Creo 7.0 Launches with Focus on Generative and Simulation-Driven Design

Generative Design

With help of incorporated technology from Frustum, the generative design software company that PTC acquired in 2018, Creo 7.0 enables designers to quickly produce optimized designs that meet specific constraints, according to the company. "Generative design is a means to automatically generate your optimal designs from a set of requirements, specifying loads, constraints, materials, and manufacturing processes. Creo will then seamlessly calculate the optimal design to meet those requirements," explained Paul Sagar, PTC's vice-president of Creo product management, during a product launch webinar.

The new Creo Generative Topology Optimization extension is fully integrated into the Creo design environment, and includes "simple and familiar tools to set up and capture your design requirements in the form of loads, constraints, starting geometry, and areas to avoid," Sagar said. Read more »


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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff