Not for Lack of Support—Netfabb 2021.0 for 3D Print Processing
Roopinder Tara posted on June 17, 2020 |
The best software for processing 3D print files just got better.

Perhaps the most thankless task of getting a 3D print ready is having to add supports. And the most galling task is to then remove them from the part after it emerges from the 3D printer.

Netfabb’s latest release helps with that. There are new options for projecting bar supports and helping determine where they are placed. Supports can concentrate on mostly flat and level surfaces below the overhangs.

Individual supports created from a script can be turned off or on, which is great for doing what-if scenarios with different settings. The settings are retained even if the file is exporting and importing.

More complicated supports (polylines) can be tapered or widened near their connection to the model.

Supports can be cloned more easily and automatic alignment makes sure that supports will work even after either the source or the target moves.

So What Else Is New?

Glad you asked. In addition to support for supports, Netfabb added several other enhancements to its latest version in what may be the most popular software for professional 3D printing.

Users can add their own parts to the library. The new version also adds a few parts, including the NIST Additive Manufacturing Test parts that can be used to benchmark3D printers as well as microscale test parts that can test materials down to a 10-micrometerscale.

Pack It in or Lighten Up

Gravity and size sorting let users choose which option will work best for their parts. The size sorting approach places the most substantial parts at the center, with the smaller pieces folding in the surrounding space. With gravity sorting, the smaller parts end up being at the bottom—much like your cereal.

The build volume can now be filled with duplicate parts instead of arraying a single part with distances between them. The duplicates are created by specifying a minimum padding and Netfabb duplicates the parts to fill the volume.

Netfabb adds 3MF support with the ability to now handle non-shape properties such as texture, color and type of material. Non-shape properties are kept as the mesh is modified with merges and intersections. Non-shape properties can also be exported to other file formats, such as PLY, OBJ and VRML.

Netfabb’s simulation capability increaseswith this version from 500,000 to 5 million and layer-nodes go from 20 million to 200 million.

The smoke from the laser that could affect the laser’s efficacy is now considered.

For those trying to lightweight their part, save material, or just reduce build time, a new function generates hexagonal islands to fill the inside of a part.

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