PostProcess Technologies, which makes post-printing software for industrial 3D printing, has launched its Connect3D software platform, an expansion of its Automat3D software offering. The original Automat3D software powers removal of 3D support materials and surface finishing, while the new platform extends this capability into the Cloud for the first time.

 PostProcess’ Connect3D software platform is reportedly the first in the world to address end-to-end additive manufacturing (AM) within the ‘digital thread’, i.e. the digital chain that collects and connects data along each component’s path. Currently data is captured and connected in the design and printing phases and the digital thread for a 3D part can be cut off before its final finished stage. COnnect3D links the finishing or post-printing stage to the part’s digital thread and can leverage the CAD-file or 3D printer sliced files to define the necessary requirements and algorithms for post-printing.

CONNECT3D is designed for a wide range of materials including metals and polymers, and imports most native CAD formats.

 ‘Currently, the concept of the ‘digital thread’ within AM ends once parts are printed, said Daniel Hutchinson, founder and CTO of PostProcess. ‘Conventional finishing processes rely on tribal knowledge and hand tools so there is no ability to collect or transfer data. The lack of transferable data limits the post-print process, but also fundamentally weakens the design process. Design input decisions, such as part orientation, are undermined due to a lack of downstream process data. Critical areas such as maintaining strength along a preferred axis and minimizing the amount of support material are jeopardized. An intuitive process, one that learns from itself, was not viable before today.’

This story uses material from PostProcess, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.