Efficient Nesting Tools Bring AM Closer to Mass Production

Link3D introduced its True Shape Nesting at Rapid + TCT in additive manufacturing.

While many companies are investing in printer networking and new technology to take additive manufacturing (AM) to a true mass production level, basic manufacturing workflow principles continue to pose efficiency issues. Link3D, a New York-based additive manufacturing software company, revealed its latest software to tackle these issues, True Shape Nesting, at Rapid + TCT.

“Link3D’s production planning tool is developed for companies adopting serial production with additive manufacturing,” said Vishal Singh, Link3D CTO. “With shape-based nesting, Link3D will help additive manufacturing facility operations maximize machine utilization, understand number of machine runs needed to fulfill the order and reduce the manual effort with build preparation. It will help our customers reduce cost and drive production efficiency,”

Technologies able to print large batches—powder-based machines, selective laser sintering (SLS) and multi jet fusion—have become time- and cost-savings tools. To maximize their efficiency and output, optimal nesting is a must. At its basic level AM nesting sorts, orients and arranges 3D files to maximize space without interfering with no-build areas.

Efficient manufacturing strives to pack in the most parts possible while still delivering high-quality results. Without proper nesting, material waste and printing errors can turn costly. A fused part or interlocking rings result in useless parts.

Link3D’s True Shape Nesting software is designed to find the optimal nesting strategy based on a 3D-model’s shape. It is able to orient parts in any direction, including around a Z-axis. Along with making the actual process of printing more efficient, the software is part of the company’s Build Simulation software. From quotes to production planning and scheduling, software can estimate production time and material usage of more than 500 printers and 1,000 materials.

“To understand true production cost and achieve optimized production planning, MES toolsets need to become more agile in order to dynamically plan and increase throughout,” said Shane Fox, CEO of Link3D. “As a team that understands what it takes for organizations to prepare for series production, we have spent over the last 18 months in R&D and have understood the need for an API-based True Shape Nesting solution that can be utilized beyond just build preparation for costing and planning.”

Interested in learning more about how AM is changing the face of manufacturing? Check out Automated 3D Printing: How Industrial Additive Manufacturing Is Evolving and 3D Printing Predictions for 2019.