By avoiding laborious CAD-to-STL conversion, users are able to work in high fidelity and rapidly advance the design-to-3D print process, which can lead to faster time-to-market and time-to-revenue. Advanced FDM is designed to speed part production, while maintaining the creation of purpose-built parts that minimise weight without compromising strength.

“For design and manufacturing engineers, one of the most frustrating processes is ‘dumbing down’ a CAD file to STL format – only to require subsequent re-injection of design intent into the STL printing process,” says Mark Walker, lead software product manager at Stratasys. “This software is engineered to do away with this complexity, letting designers reduce iterations and design cycles – getting to a high-quality, realistic prototype and final part faster than ever before.”

With rich CAD-native build controls, the solution does not require manual generation of complex tool paths, cutting overall programming times for 3D printing. Intuitive features achieve desired part characteristics through automatic control of FDM build attributes. Engineers select areas on native design geometry and specify design attributes – letting Advanced FDM automatically calculate 3D print tool paths.

“Advanced FDM’s geometry-based workflows have allowed us to fine-tune part builds, meeting application requirements and process parts more quickly than we could before,” says Robert Heath, additive manufacturing application engineer at Eckhart. “The seamless transition of moving a build between applications is easy and intuitive.”

Assigning attributes directly to CAD models, users pinpoint areas of strength and rigidity, control infills, ensure sufficient material around holes with inserts, and avoid seams. Since tool paths are automatically generated from model assignments, the user can expect to spend significantly lesstime on part set-up, without losing strong, high-quality, purpose-built FDM parts.

“Advanced FDM has proved invaluable in improving our part processing time,” states Dave Hewitson, rapid prototyping programmer at McLaren. “When processing a large number of tools and fixtures in a very time-pressured environment, it was crucial to ensure stronger tool areas were correct first time, every time. Advanced FDM negates the requirement for multiple programs, creating a more streamlined process. It’s also allowed us to more effectively control the structure of end-use car parts, something that was previously very difficult with the solutions we had in hand. This means we can get better parts to the track faster.”

GrabCAD’s Advanced FDM is available now via download with GrabCAD Print (from versions 1.24) and is supported on the following Stratasys 3D printing systems: F370, Fortus 380mc, Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition, Fortus 450mc, Fortus 400mc, Fortus 900mc and F900.