When acquired by Autodesk in 2015, Netfabb was one of the most widely used tools to improve models for 3D printing, in terms of repairing files, preparing to print, and optimizing topology. only possible with 3D printing. It was only a matter of time before Autodesk integrated it directly into Fusion 360, its powerful all-in-one modeling software.
That time has come and now Netfabb subscribers will have access to Fusion 360 and its additive building extension, as well as an upcoming additive simulation extension. Netfabb users will also be able to access Fusion 360 Team and HSMWorks. Netfabb Premium and Ultimate will now include metal additive manufacturing work preparation Additive Build Extension. End users will also get the additive simulation extension when it is released.
“We see additive manufacturing as one of the most revolutionary technologies in the industry, delivering many well-known benefits including shorter time to market, lighter weight products and reduced waste,” said Sualp Ozel , Senior Product Manager for Additive Technologies in Fusion 360. “At Autodesk, we seek to remove any barriers that slow down the design and manufacturing processes, instead making it a smooth workflow within a single package. tools. This change will provide Autodesk users with the right set of tools they need to develop and manufacture innovative products.
Even before former CEO Carl Bass left the company, Autodesk had gradually built a unified platform for all manufacturing that became Fusion 360. This meant that through the design tool it would be possible to ‘send models to subtractive manufacturing programs. , for example, to prepare for CNC milling. At the same time, the company has moved to a fully cloud-based model. One of the most unique features of the software is that in addition to using this holistic approach, Fusion 360 is free for non-commercial users.
Meanwhile, Autodesk aimed to become a leader in generative design through Project Dreamcatcher, which eventually became the generative design extension for Fusion 360. Because Fusion 360 is meant to be user-friendly, these developments, including this news regarding l ‘Netfabb integration, suggest that the advanced design of the tools will be more easily accessible to a wide variety of users.
Future extensions to Fusion 360 will see greater integration, including a management extension for product data and lifecycle management (PDM / PLM) functionality. This includes automatic part numbers, ECOs, process workflows. The additive simulation extension, which should be available in January, will simulate metal 3D printing scenarios before printing. A nesting and fabrication extension will improve sheet metal production, allowing designs to be nested based on material, thickness, and other variables. An injection molding extension will allow models to be prepared for manufacturing via injection molding, with simulation for packaging, filling and warping.
With all of this in mind, it’s worth considering the larger segment of 3D printing software. In his “Opportunities in Additive Manufacturing Software Markets 2020, ”SmarTech Analysis predicts that 3D printing software will grow into a $ 3.7 billion industry by 2027. A 2020 3DPrint.com PRO article sees Scott Dunham, vice president of research for SmarTech Analysis, describe a new emerging trend in this space. 3D printing software is not only getting more powerful, but it is integrating more and more into larger software packages as users demand that 3D printing tools behave more like traditional manufacturing tools.
At this point in its maturation, the big software companies are now in more direct competition with each other when it comes to their add-on offerings. The big four CAD companies – Dassault Systèmes, Siemens, Autodesk and PTC – have all developed additive capabilities for their programs, sometimes going so far as to include 3D printing simulation tools needed to ensure proper production of printed metal parts. In 3D. The fact that Autodesk is introducing its own simulation extension indicates where the road is headed: greater industrialization of add-on systems and software, and greater integration from large developers.
All images are courtesy of Autodesk, unless otherwise noted.