One of the most important weeks for the additive manufacturing industry is kicking off, and the excitement is palpable. Companies—big and small—are readying to unveil new or upgraded products and technologies at Formnext 2018. And though the big event officially launches tomorrow, news is already streaming in.
Materialise, for instance, has already announced the release of its Magics 23 software platform for increased productivity and efficiency for 3D printing. The company says the software update will enable manufacturers and businesses to scale up their operations, utilize resources more efficiently and bring manufacturing costs down.
Additionally, Materialise has also announced the extension of its 3D printing services portfolio with new materials, aimed at accelerating AM adoption in the automotive, aerospace and consumer goods industries.
Magics 23 marks the latest iteration of Materialise’s data and build preparation software for 3D printing. The updated platform integrates a slew of new and improved features focused on increasing productivity and efficiency.
Using the new software, users are given a higher degree of control and have the ability to process large data sets faster, thus reducing the amount of time needed for data preparation. The new software also offers features for reducing powder consumption, for automatically generating self-supporting honeycomb structures and fillets.
Other new tools include Data Matrix Label, which is an advanced labeling feature capable of converting alphanumeric data from 3D printed labels into a data matrix code that can be added to parts. The smart tags, which can be read by conventional data matrix scanners, can be printed into individual parts to increase automation and the potential for mass customization.
Materialise also highlights the upgraded simulation module of Magics 23. The built-in simulation tools help to reduce the number of failed metal prints by identifying potential issues early on. The software also includes a lap joint cut feature for assembling cut parts and e-Stage support in SG mode.
The latter feature offers users an improved way to generate supports for metal 3D printing, cutting back on manual support design time. According to Materialise, the e-Stage support feature can reduce data preparation time by 90%, cut support removal time by 50% and bring powder recuperation up to nearly 100% compared to manual support generation.
“With the introduction of Magics 23, we offer integrated automation features for metal 3D printing, including simulation and automatic support generation,” commented Stefaan Motte, Vice President and General Manager of the Materialise software division. “This allows users to drive down cost by optimizing their machine operations and reducing the number of build fails, all within their trusted Magics environment.”
The new software platform is available in three versions: Essentials (for entry-level users), Expert (for advanced data and build preparation) and Enterprise (for businesses and print factories).
This week, Materialise announces the introduction of three new materials to its 3D printing services portfolio: polypropylene (PP), a common production plastic; Taurus, a stereolithography (SLA) material ideal for the automotive industry; and Inconel (IN718), a metal alloy used in the aerospace and automotive sectors for prototyping and end-use applications.
“The automotive, aerospace and consumer goods industries have all been early adopters of 3D printing for prototyping applications,” stated Jurgen Laudus, Vice President Materialise Manufacturing. “As the usage of 3D printing widens in scope and scale, we’re making strategic investments in expanding our service portfolio with materials that address the industries’ needs: whether it’s production-grade characteristics as in the case of PP and Inconel, or specific mechanical properties as in the case of Taurus.”