Editorial


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New Software Releases at the Center of a Revolution

By: Brad Kuvin

Thursday, April 19, 2018
 

By now you’ve likely caught the headlines from the recently released 2018 Wohlers Report on the state of the additive-manufacturing (AM) industry. The report notes an 80-percent increase in the number of metal-AM machines sold in 2017 compared to the year earlier, accompanying notable increases in processing capabilities including upgraded process-monitoring and quality-assurance technology. The report also highlights new open material platforms and faster print speeds, as well as reduced prices. Also on the rise: the number of companies producing and selling industrial-AM equipment, up 40 percent year over year.

All of this leads to great optimism for this industry, following alongside wide-reaching optimism throughout all of manufacturing for 2018, and perhaps beyond. The recently published 2018 National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights report, developed by LEA Global, offers these insightful trends:

  • 81 percent of manufacturers expect revenue increases in 2018.
  • 44 percent vow to develop new products and services.
  • 50 percent are prioritizing the role of predictive analytics/ERP/IoT.
  • 50 percent will increase their hiring.

Exactly how suppliers of AM technology will continue to drive the industry forward comes to light during the RAPID+TCT exhibition and conference, which lands in Fort Worth, TX, April 23-26. Highlighted in a seven-page feature article in this issue of 3D Metal Printing, the show will welcome more than 6000 industry professionals, treating them to more than 300 technology exhibits as well as a robust conference featuring more than 200 presentations.

As noted in the Wohlers Report, new-technology developments continue to drive the accelerated pace of AM adoption, in particular metal printing. And while show visitors will spy plenty of new printing machines, metal-alloy powders and post-processing equipment, from my perspective it is the new software entering the market at an unbelievably quick pace that promises to make the most impact. Examples:

  • VeriCut version 8.1 CNC-machine simulation from CGTech, verification and optimization software, now with additive capabilities;
  • Additive Intelligence software from SLM Solutions that promises to minimize supports with an optimized exposure strategy, and guide users to optimum plate positioning;
  • Simufact Additive software, from MSC Software, which provides information about distortion and residual stresses, and helps develop suitable countermeasures; and
  • An enhanced version of AutoMat3D software from PostProcess Technologies, which analyzes support and build structures and then develops post-printing recipes.

3D Metal Printing magazine is a media sponsor of RAPID + TCT. Our editors will be closely surveying all of the action on the show floor and in the conference sessions. Please stop by and see us at booth 3410!

 


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