Feb 26, 2018 | By Benedict

Metal 3D printing software company Atlas 3D has released Sunata, its new software for Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) 3D printers. The software provides automatic orientation and support structures.

Figuring out the ideal conditions and settings for 3D printing can sometimes be a time-consuming exercise. (Not to mention a money-consuming one.) But while trial-and-error is an acceptable strategy for FDM 3D printing, it’s not so great for metal 3D printing, where every square centimeter of metal powder can be precious.

One way to plan ahead for a metal 3D print is to use simulation software, but even that approach has its drawbacks. Simulations typically require massive processing power, and can take hours or even days to cycle through every eventuality.

Atlas 3D, an additive manufacturing software company based in Plymouth, Indiana, says its new Sunata DMLS 3D printing software eliminates the need for both trial-and-error and simulations—simulations in the usual sense, at least.

To do so, the software uses its patent-pending Thermal Circuit Network (TCN), which scientifically parses a 3D model into thermally similar layers, which are then divided into thermally similar segments. A thermal modeling algorithm calculates the optimal orientation and support structure for a 3D model after running it through 100 different orientations.

It is therefore a kind of simulation process, but one whose shortlist of eventualities is scientifically chosen, rather than guessed at.

The new Sunata 3D printing software was developed alongside the technology group at ITAMCO (Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Company), who helped Atlas 3D to balance minimal distortion with reduced print times.

The collaboration enabled Atlas 3D to create software that optimally orients and supports a part for printing, and can therefore accurately calculate total print time and amount of sintered material in advance. This, in turn, provides accurate cost-to-print data, which enables users to profitably 3D print their designs.

The Sunata DMLS 3D printing sotware works with many metal feedstocks, and is the first additive manufacturing software platform to test the new Ferrium C64 (AMS 6509) metal powder from QuesTek Innovations, which has been used to make helicopter gearboxes and other critical components.



Posted in 3D Software



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