To fully appreciate the power of Stratasys’ new software approach for 3D printing, it is important to understand the way 3D printing files are prepared. The typical process that takes you from concept to 3D printed model can be complex and cumbersome. Native CAD files need to be converted into STL files, which can strip away critical design intent. The STL files then have to be repaired and optimized for 3D printing. 3D printer scheduling and monitoring applications are also required to improve printing efficiency.
Now Stratasys is poised to change all that with a new software strategy designed to make 3D printing a lot easier, more intuitive and more accessible. At the core of this strategy is a new, open architecture “design-to-3D print” workflow application called GrabCAD Print*. Residing on the popular GrabCAD SaaS platform and supported by a community of more than three million designers, engineers and students, GrabCAD Print unifies job preparation, scheduling and monitoring. By eliminating the requirements to “translate” or “repair” the computer-aided design (CAD) files, GrabCAD Print streamlines the design-to-3D print workflow while reducing associated file errors.
That means GrabCAD Print users will be able to access Stratasys 3D printing solutions, analyze designs for 3D printability, and prepare and 3D print jobs – all from their native CAD environments!
“When keeping up with fast paced development, frequently things will change in the last minute. In the past when a build had to be switched to a different 3D printer I’d have to do a clean restart – redo all of that file preparation work. With GrabCAD Print it’s easy to switch between 3D printers within a single app. That’s a huge step forward in improving the workflow,” said Jimmy Callaway, Design Engineer, Joe Gibbs Racing.
GrabCAD Print will work with a variety of Stratasys FDM and PolyJet 3D Printers and can natively read several popular CAD formats, including PTC Creo, Dassault Systèmes’ SOLIDWORKS and CATIA, Siemens PLM Software’s NX software, and Autodesk Inventor. The application also makes data sharing very easy. Job scheduling, print queue status, material usage and historical usage is readily and securely available via standard Web browsers, mobile applications or locally installed clients.
“When we acquired GrabCAD two years ago, our vision was to provide a digital manufacturing backbone to support adoption of 3D printing technologies,” said Josh Claman, Chief Business Officer, Stratasys. “Underscoring the critical nature of software as an essential ingredient for complete and smooth 3D printing workflow, GrabCAD Print is our first new application built on the GrabCAD platform – empowering customers with a single, open, cloud-based environment for job preparation, scheduling and monitoring. Accelerating integration of additive manufacturing on the shop floor, GrabCAD Print also generates real-time business intelligence which can be prepared in actionable reports for Stratasys 3D Printers on the user’s GrabCAD Print network.”
For more information and to keep updated on future developments, please visit: www.grabcad.com/print.
*The GrabCAD Print application will be in public beta in North America this summer, with additional releases planned throughout the year alongside new language and regional support