Everyone should be aware that additive manufacturing is not limited to 3D printing itself. Apart from post-processing, using the right software to create the 3D printed model also plays a major role. If you are looking to choose the right modeling software, you should be aware of some essential factors. For example, it is important to know in which industry the additive part will be used, what level of knowledge one has about the software, or which functionalities are particularly important for the user. There is a wide range of different software, one of which comes from the Franco-German company CoreTechnologie, called 4D_Additive. In the middle of this year, the software vendor introduced the 4D_Additive update, but we wanted to know exactly what new features and improvements the update offers for the user himself. We caught up with Remi Goupil, Product Manager for 4D_Additive in Germany, for an interview to learn more about this and the company’s future plans.
3DN: Could you briefly introduce yourself and your link with additive manufacturing?
Hello, my name is Rémi Goupil and I’m a product manager for 4D_Additive in Germany. In the 3D CAD interoperability market, CoreTechnologie is well known and the world’s leading provider of 3D CAD data conversion software. Our mission is to optimize interoperability, helping organizations to effectively share engineering data and optimize all processes based on 3D data.
Since its establishment in 1998, CoreTechnologie has consistently presented innovative developments and has more than 560 customers who are leading technology companies developing complex products in the automotive, aerospace, mechanical and consumer goods industries. CoreTechnologie is a Franco-German company with a development center in Lyon, France. The head office is based in Germany, near Frankfurt. As a native Frenchman, it was an optimal solution for me to move to Germany to enable a strong connection between our sales team and our development team in France.
3DN: How was 4D_Additive from CoreTechnologie born?
Four years ago, CoreTechnologie decided to look into the booming additive manufacturing market. We acknowledged that in our opinion the few established tools available were using outdated data formats and methods based on the triangulated STL format.
Having 20 years of experience in data conversion and simplification, we noticed a unique opportunity to be able to create innovative 3D printing software based on our own kernel handling both exact CAD data of all major formats and triangulated data. We were therefore able to solve the problem of STL ending up either with large files of sufficient quality, or with files of smaller size and poor precision. Also the capacity of printers has evolved considerably to gradually integrate mass production. As a result, the size of STL files has increased significantly. So the time was right to introduce exact and very compact CAD files to support large build spaces and also provide higher accuracy, especially when it comes to industrial production of parts. This is the main reason for the birth of 4D_Additive. Additionally, based on our existing GUI concept, we were able to create software that is extremely easy to use. The 3D printing market is open to everyone and a solution was needed that was suitable for all types of users, while offering high quality parts and more processing power for a serious additive manufacturing process.
3DN: CoreTechnologie released a new version of the software in the middle of this year. What can you tell us about the new features of 1.4. Update?
The highlight of the new software version is certainly the improved nesting functions. Compared to our previous version, the software now offers higher packing speed, accuracy and density, as well as optimized packing distribution. Additionally, the software has a new nesting strategy. The new Powercopy nesting feature enables extremely fast packing of identical parts with maximum packing density. In addition we have integrated the Eosprint 2.0 interface. Now print data can be sent directly from 4D_Additive to EOS machines without detour via other software tools or formats. This makes it possible to read native CAD or STL data, prepare it for the 3D printing process and now send the data also to EOS systems with just one software tool.
3DN: Who is 4D_Additive’s main target audience?
Our customer base consists of 3D printing service companies and the prototyping industry, but we are also seeing more and more mechanical engineering companies buying our software. Today, more and more parts are designed as 3D printing parts and need to be manufactured on a regular basis. Therefore, we focus on the automation potential of powder bed technologies such as SLS and MJF and 3D nesting, which is a crucial technology to improve productivity. In our latest release, we also spend a lot of time developing FDM and DLP support frameworks and writing G-Code for major printers. Our goal is to provide a solution that can be used for all printing methods and machines without requiring users to switch between many different software.
3DN: What projects can we expect in the future with CoreTechnologie?
For the next release in November, we are focusing on support structures for metal printing and new AI-based algorithms to automatically optimize supports as well as part orientation. This month we will present a first version of our automatic batch nesting tool which can be easily integrated into all web server systems by means of a so-called Rest API.
Finally, we have just finalized our SLS build manager and are currently working on the 4D_Additive API which will provide advanced functions such as 3D nesting, clipping, hatching and support generation in an easy to use SDK .
3DN: Do you have a final word for our readers?
We see great potential in 3D printing, especially when it comes to achieving greater independence from vulnerable supply chains. By talking to our customers, we can also see a serious and consistent shift from conventional production methods such as injection molding to additive manufacturing, especially when it comes to smaller and complex parts as well as small batches. . You can find out more on our website HERE.
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*All photo credits: CoreTechnologie