3D Printing Materials Get Smarter with Granta & Senvol Partnership
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on May 17, 2016 |

A key to 3D printers increasingly being adopted by mainstream manufacturers is the materials they use. As 3D printing evolves, the characteristics that make up print media will continue be essential to how objects are fabricated. HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology, for instance, is described as being able to control the material makeup of an object at the voxel (3D pixel) level. In order to exploit the full potential of 3D print materials, users will need to be able to understand the physical properties of a given substance and which 3D printers might be able to use that substance.

To integrate all that information and help users make the best materials decisions, 3D printing analysis firm Senvol has partnered with material intelligence company Granta Design to combine Senvol’s knowledge of 3D printers with Granta’s knowledge of materials. Within Granta’s GRANTA MI and CES Selector materials software, users will now be able to access the massive Senvol Database, providing them with a powerful tool for understanding materials and the 3D printers that handle those materials.

First, we have the Senvol Database has information about over 550 3D printers and over 700 materials. Covering the vast majority of the industrial 3D printing space, the machine database allows users to search by manufacturer, 3D printing process, size, material type and cost. The materials database can be searched by a wide variety of characteristics, such as mechanical, thermal and physical properties, as well as hardness shore and the certifications the materials meet.

Then, take GRANTA MI is a tool for businesses to manage their materials data, including analysis, certifications and other information. The GRANTA MI:Additive Manufacturing Package in particular is designed for substances used with 3D printing. CES Selector gives users the ability to plot, analyze and compare materials properties.

Combined with the Senvol Database, then, users will be able to take this information a step further and find 3D printers that use certain materials across the industry; they might also be able to see how a given 3D printing material matches against their existing materials, as used by traditional manufacturing methods. For instance, one might map out the properties of titanium alloy Ti6Al4V, the most commonly used alloy, to compare its physical properties along with 3D printers capable of using it. More details on how the integration will operate will be available through a web seminar taking place on May 31.

AM materials from the Senvol Database™ plotted with CES Selector™.  (Image courtesy of Granta.)
AM materials from the Senvol Database plotted with CES Selector. (Image courtesy of Granta.)
Joining the United States’ pilot 3D printing institute, America Makes, in 2014, Senvol began as a robust database of industrial 3D printers and materials. From the beginning, however, Senvol has striven to be more than a resource for those searching for the ideal 3D printer for a given task. The company has worked to provide analysis for a growing and increasingly complex industry. Co-Presidents Annie Wang and Zach Simkin even provide their analyses in various publications, such as the industry-favored “Wohlers Report.” This latest partnership demonstrates just how capable both the company itself and its database have become. 

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