3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS streamlines the path from 3D design to 3D printing

Market-leading 3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems has announced the launch of 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS, a 3D print preparation software package that optimizes 3D designs for additive manufacturing.

3DXpert, which was selected for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2017 Software of the Year Awards alongside SOLIDWORKS, is available exclusively to SOLIDWORKS customers as part of their annual subscription.

Unlike the software already offered with 3D Systems metal 3D printers, the upgraded 3DXpert software includes a new suite of tools to create a direct path between SOLIDWORKS designs and metal and plastic additive manufacturing.

3DXpert Workflow for SOLIDWORKS. Image via 3D systems.

Helping designers realize their technological potential

Despite the importance of more of the workforce re-purposing their existing skills in light of the growth of additive manufacturing, 3D Systems suggests that the difficulty of this is preventing some designers from taking full advantage of additive manufacturing technologies. 3D printing.

With the new 3DXpert software, SOLIDWORKS users will have the design freedom to provide complex geometries, lightweight parts without compromising strength and to apply surface textures that provide functional or aesthetic benefits.

“We have seen a tremendous increase in the adoption of additive manufacturing,” said Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of SOLIDWORKS. “As a result, we’ve partnered with 3D Systems to provide SOLIDWORKS users with the tools to help them design specifically for additive manufacturing, which requires a different set of operations and rules than more traditional subtractive manufacturing.”

The main features of 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS

As part of the design workflow in 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS, designers can import native CAD data without having to convert it to STL and maintain the integrity of the original design until it is 3D printed.

Another important feature is the ability to optimize the structure of the object. This can be done by freely modifying lattice structures or infill designs, modifying the surface texture, and implementing automatic adjustments based on 3DXpert’s FEA linear stress analysis.

Likewise, support structures can be designed to simultaneously deliver quality prints and save material by minimizing supports. In 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS, automatic analysis inserts supports where they are needed, but these can also be skewed, scaled, or reconfigured to make them easier to remove.

The support structures can be freely modified to adapt to each 3D printing job.  Image via 3D systems.
The support structures can be freely modified to adapt to each 3D printing job. Image via 3D systems.

Preparation time well spent

Finally, print preparation time is streamlined with automatic features such as tray configuration, material usage estimates, and build time calculations.

Hybrid CAD tools, auto-fit options, build plate positioning, and multiple format export options also ensure minimal discrepancy between the CAD design and the 3D printed result. 3D Systems CEO Vyomesh Joshi said:

“This collaboration enables SOLIDWORKS users to create more shapes, more ways, and to accelerate product development cycles while reducing costs.”

“We’re giving designers a real competitive advantage while redefining the design and manufacturing process,” added Joshi.

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The image shown shows the 3DXpert icon for SOLIDWORKS. Image via 3D systems.