At SOLIDWORKS World 2018, there’s a common theme running throughout the many announcements happening here in Los Angeles and that’s the way nature is inspiring much of the way we design and manufacture.
In announcing a strategic partnership with Dassault Systèmes, metal 3D printing company Desktop Metal is also taking a leaf out of nature’s book with its latest offering to the market, a generative design tool called Live Parts.
Available exclusively to SOLIDWORKS users, Live Parts is an experimental technology aimed at simplifying generative design for 3D printing.
Ric Fulop, CEO and Co-Founder at Desktop Metal commented: “In addition to hardware, we believe design for additive manufacturing software tools and techniques are critical to the successful fabrication of strong, lightweight parts that perform. We are excited to partner with Dassault Systèmes on the preview of our latest innovation, Live Parts, and to offer our software tool as a means for educational exploration to the largest community of engineers leading advancements in additive manufacturing.”
Topology and generative design are of course nothing new in additive manufacturing but Desktop Metal says this tool is unique in its ability to “grow” strong and lightweight metal parts in a matter of minutes that are responsive to multiple forces happening in a real-time cloud environment.
The Desktop Metal team provided a live demo of the tool at SWW18 today which showed how parts grow, in a similar way to how a plant would towards the sun. The part appears in as this living organism and you can see how it transforms in minutes, shedding any unnecessary weight along the way.
Discussing how this tool differs from those already on the market, Gian Paolo Bassi, SOLIDWORKS CEO, explained how topology optimisation is based on an assumption about how parts are currently designed and made, whereas with this tool, the aim is to create a part based solely on conditions and restraints uninformed by preconceived ideas. He confirms it will be able to do things that topology optimisation simply can’t.
Live Parts is still very much “in active development” according to Desktop Metal and beginning February 6, an early stage version of the tool will be made available exclusively to SOLIDWORKS users to gain feedback. Jonah Myerberg
In addition to this announcement, as part of the strategic partnership, Desktop Metal and Dassault Systèmes will be collaborating on the implementation of future features that enable users to have a full additive workflow from design through 3D printing. The companies also are exploring a variety of educational initiatives, such as metal 3D printing certification and curriculum, and joint content programs.