Hexagon Implements Additive Build Preparation in ESPRIT CAM Software
Digital workflow streamlines powder-bed fusion (PBF) build and finishing work in single ESPRIT CAM environment.
December 1, 2021
Computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) software introduced by Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division provides the digital tools needed to prepare 3D-printed components for manufacturing using powder bed fusion (PBF) technologies.
Hexagon’s ESPRIT CAM software now offers a build preparation workflow within the CAM environment to provide a single, streamlined platform for the additive build and finishing operations. Its Part-to-Build workflow was developed to carry out a true CAM experience that includes build-preparation steps and the programming tools for post-processing printed parts with wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) and milling machine tools.
The Part-to-Build workflow addresses part preparation and job preparation with dedicated functionality within one piece of software, enabling volume efficiencies and automating repetitive tasks, such as slicing.
Designed for CAM programmers, ESPRIT CAM’s build preparation employs a workflow based on parametric data that ensures accuracy and adherence to the geometry of the original computer-aided design (CAD) model until it is sliced in preparation for 3D printing. The software reads and manipulates all popular parametric CAD formats and automatically identifies those surfaces that require support.
The software also assists with the creation of support structures, generating parametric surfaces with teeth, fragmentation and perforation. Support generation can be automated for future builds by assigning a pre-set to a region in the surface, capturing production know-how and improving future productivity. Because the majority of models for 3D-printed parts are STL-based, ESPRIT CAM also provides an STL (mesh) slicer that leverages a built-in software kernel.
Once a part is sliced, it can be imported to the software’s job preparation environment and reused whenever needed. Here, exposure strategies are automatically assigned according to the chosen machine set-up. As the part is already sliced, the programmer need only nest them and the corresponding machine file is generated based on the target machine set-up.
“Combining build preparation in the CAM environment is the first step on the journey to true computer-aided manufacturing using additive methods, enabling higher levels of automation and productivity,” says Clement Girard, product manager for additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence at Hexagon. “Our goal is to make the programmer’s life easier, thereby making the shop floor more productive and future-ready to apply the best available machinery and processes to the part in hand.”
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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