What Are the Trends in 3D Software for Additive Manufacturing?
Last week, Formnext Digital Days commenced, with the aim of reaching a wider audience beyond the phsyical Frankfurt expo. Virtual attendees were able to enjoy networking sessions and engaging panels led by industry experts from additive manufacturing. It was certainly a unique opportunity to bring the additive manufacturing sector together online and share knowledge about the current state of the industry, the latest innovations and forecasts. One of the panels we were able to attend was led by Jonathan Girroir, Senior Manager at Tech Soft 3D, who spoke about the main 3D software trends in today’s additive manufacturing market.
The American company, also present in France, UK, Germany and Japan, is dedicated to offering services to its clients to help them develop their manufacturing projects through the use of advanced software tools. Thanks to his extensive experience in this field, Jonathan perfectly explained the current state of the industry in terms of 3D software. He pointed out that, despite the fact that 3D printing is not as widely used as subtractive technology, there are already 65% of industrial companies that are also betting on this complementary production method. While illustrating the “Innovation Adoption Curve”, he posed a question to the audience: at what stage is 3D printing currently? After different responses from the attendees, Girroir affirmed that this technology is in the “Late Majority” stage, which is targeting a more conservative public.
The Four Key Trends
After giving this brief introduction on the current position of 3D printing in the industry, Girroir started talking about the 4 key trends in terms of software. In the first place, he started talking about the appearance of a metaverse, that is, a concept that defines the next generation of the internet, something that we are already seeing thanks to companies like Facebook, among others. Thus, he stated that the first trend to highlight is this metaverse, which we can also refer to as a Digital Twin. In this aspect we can appreciate how the industry is directed by the new technological trends that are emerging daily. The second trend sums it up in one word: analysis. Jonathan highlights the importance of analysis during the design process, as well as the need to collect information at each stage in order to ensure the best end results.
The third trend highlights the role of communities. Platforms such as Thingiverse, Cults or MyMiniFactory bring together large communities of people in one place and online. It also generates value for the companies that are present on these websites, since the best sellers are those who are passionate about the technology in question. The fourth and last trend refers to Cloud Adoption, that is, the ability for all tools to be available in one place and remotely accessible. This aspect is critical in the additive manufacturing industry and it is something that we have seen clear during the global pandemic.
To end the panel, Jonathan Girroir introduced us to the Tech Soft 3D SDK (software development kit) for additive manufacturing. In it we find solutions such as Hoops and Polygonica that allow us to optimize CAD import processes, Maya and web graphics. You can find out more about Tech Soft 3D SDK HERE.
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