3D Systems unveils 3DXpert for Solidworks to optimize designs for additive manufacturing

A Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM) workflow has been added to a familiar CAD environment.

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3D Systems on Tuesday announced 3DXpert for Solidworks, a new set of tools for Solidworks users to prepare and optimize their designs for both plastic and metal additive manufacturing.

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Solidworks users can now access a Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM) workflow in a familiar CAD environment. 3D Systems says the new toolset will allow Solidworks users to enable rapid product development, produce complex geometries and light-weight parts, and apply surface texture to deliver functional or aesthetic benefits.

3DXpert for Solidworks can also:

  • Work with native CAD solids without converting them into STL, or toggling between several software programs to accomplish all tasks.
  • Optimize structures with rapid creation of lattice-based structures for light-weighting and applying surface textures.
  • Ensure quality printed parts by using real-time analysis for best-fit positioning and orientation of the part. It also uses automated analysis and setting of support structures to help designers ensure surface quality and prevent part distortion.
  • Accelerate preparation time by employing automatic features like tray setup, and estimation of material usage and build time.

"We are excited to partner with Dassault Systèmes and help customers experience the reality of 3D printing through the new 3DXpert for Solidworks offering," Vyomesh Joshi, president and CEO at 3D Systems, said in a statement. "This collaboration enables Solidworks users to create more shapes, more ways, and accelerate product development cycles while lowering costs."

The standard edition of 3DXpert for Solidworks is now available to download and included in the annual Solidworks subscription. Solidworks also offers additional add-ons including advanced lattice design, lattice optimization tools, and a professional edition through Solidworks' VAR network.

In November 2017, 3D Systems outlined its plan to better target specific industries with a series of systems, software, and services for additive manufacturing through new materials. The company said it was focused on customized innovation and a go-to-market strategy that goes "vertical to vertical, bridging the chasm between traditional and additive manufacturing."

According to IDC, global spending on 3D printing will be nearly $12 billion, up 19.8 percent from 2017. By 2021, IDC estimates global 3D printing spending of $20 billion with a five year compound annual growth rate of 20.5 percent.