A New York company has developed design software for metal additive manufacturing (AM) that it says can help engineers properly exploit the lightweighting and other possibilities of the technology.

nTopology, based in New York, NY, USA, makes software that aims to improve advanced manufacturing outcomes with its 3D modelling design technology.

The software is based on a proprietary algorithm that uses equations to represent a 3D solid by calculating the distance to its surface from any point in space. To render, the model is raytraced so that no matter how complex it is, it can still be visualized as it is edited in real time, the company says. The software automates tasks that take hours, days or weeks with traditional design tools, due to its ability to build reusable workflows.

nTopology, established in 2015, recently formed a number of partnerships with AM companies, including EOS and Renishaw, to improve AM techniques as well as direct transfer of more accurate design data to 3D printers.

According to the company, their nTop Platform software can help position, orient and prepare parts for AM from a set of common build platforms, add lattice support structures more easily and quickly, and slice part data–avoiding stereolithography (STL) files, which nTopology says can be error prone. At the end of the design optimization process, the software can export the sliced data directly to the machines in the format that drives the laser during printing.

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