Stratasys aim to make 3D Printing as easy as printing a document

Additive manufacturing firm Stratasys has unveiled a feature that it hopes will make printing a physical 3D CAD model as easy as a normal document. The approach is powered by an open architecture ‘design-to-3D print’ workflow application called GrabCAD Print, which resides on the popular GrabCAD SaaS platform.

3D printing techniques are typically characterised by significant ‘model fixing’ time which forces businesses to devise costly, manual solutions to construct an acceptable workflow. Beyond Stratasys, many in the 3D printing community complain about the difficulty of setting up printers to give better results. The problem seems anecdotally to be worse in lower budget machines where engineers have left parts to print overnight, only to discover a plastic slewed mess in the morning.

GrabCAD Print is designed to make 3D printing fast, intuitive and easy-to-use, and promises to reduce errors by eliminating the requirements to translate and repair computer-aided design (CAD) files. Product designers, engineers, and 3D printer operators will be able to send native CAD files to a Stratasys 3D Printer or service bureau directly from their chosen CAD environments.

GrabCAD Print works with a variety of Stratasys FDM and PolyJet 3D Printers and can natively read popular CAD formats from PTC Creo, Dassault Systèmes’ Solidworks, Siemens PLM Software’s NX software, CATIA and also Autodesk Inventor. The application also facilitates data sharing related to job scheduling, print queue status, material usage and historical usage. All information is readily available via standard Web browsers, mobile applications or locally installed clients while securely managed through the GrabCAD Platform.

“When we acquired GrabCAD two years ago, our vision was to provide a digital manufacturing backbone to support the adoption of 3D printing technologies,” said Josh Claman, chief business officer at 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.”

Justin Cunningham

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