Everyone should realize that additive manufacturing is not just about 3D printing itself. In addition to post-processing, the use of the appropriate software to create a 3D-printed model also plays a major role. If you are looking to choose the right modeling software, you must be aware of some key factors. For example, it is important to know what industry the plug-in will be used in, what level of knowledge one has about software, or features that are of particular interest to the user. A wide range of different software is available, one of which is from the German-French company CoreTechnologie, which bears the name 4D_Additive. In the middle of this year, the software provider introduced a file Modernization 4D_Additive, but we wanted to know exactly what new features and improvements the update brings to the same user. We sat down with Rémi Goupil, Product Manager for 4D_Additive in Germany, for an interview to find out more about this as well as the company’s future plans.
3DN: Can you briefly introduce yourself and your connection to additive manufacturing?
Hello, my name is Rémi Goupil and I am the Product Manager for 4D_Additive in Germany. In the 3D CAD interoperability market, CoreTechnologie is known as the leading global provider of 3D CAD data conversion software. Our mission is to improve interoperability, help organizations share engineering data efficiently and optimize all processes based on 3D data.
Founded in 1998, CoreTechnologie bas has consistently provided innovative developments and has over 560 customers leading technology companies that develop complex products in the automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, and consumer goods industries. CoreTechnologie is a Franco-German company with a development center in Lyon, France. The main office is located in Germany near Frankfurt. As a French national, it was the perfect solution for me to move to Germany to enable a strong connection between our sales team and our development team in France.
3DN: How did 4D_Additive from CoreTechnologie come about?
Four years ago, CoreTechnologie decided to look at the booming additive manufacturing market. We realized that from our perspective, the few tools available use legacy data formats and methods based on the triangular STL format.
After 20 years of experience in data transformation and simplification, we saw a unique opportunity in which we could create an innovative 3D printing software based on our own kernel to handle precise CAD data for all major formats and triangular data. So we were able to solve an STL issue that ended up with either large files of sufficient quality or smaller file sizes with poor resolution. The capacity of printers has also developed greatly to gradually integrate mass production. As a result, STL file sizes have increased dramatically. So it was time to deliver accurate and highly compressed CAD files to support large building areas and also provide higher accuracy, especially when it comes to the industrial production of parts. This is the main reason for the birth of 4D_Additive. Moreover, based on our existing GUI concept, we were able to create a very easy to use software. The 3D printing market is open to everyone and there was a need for a suitable solution for all types of users, with higher quality parts and greater 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 in 1.4. Modernization?
The highlight of the new software release is certainly the improved nesting functionality. Compared to our previous version, the software now offers higher speed, accuracy and packing density as well as improved packing distribution. In addition, the program has a new nesting strategy. The new Powercopy overlapping function allows for extremely fast filling of identical parts with maximum packing density. In addition, we have integrated the Eosprint 2.0 interface. So, printing data from 4D_Additive can now be sent directly to EOS devices without conversions via other software tools or formats. This makes it possible to read the original CAD or STL data, prepare it for the 3D printing process and now also send the data to EOS systems with a single software tool.
3DN: What is 4D_Additive’s primary target audience?
Our client base is 3D printing and prototyping service companies, but we are also increasingly seeing mechanical engineering companies buying our software. Today, more and more parts are being designed as 3D printing parts and need to be manufactured on a regular basis. Therefore, we focus on the automation capabilities of powder bed technologies such as SLS, MJF and 3D nesting, an important technology for improving productivity. In our latest release, we also spend a lot of development time on FDM and DLP support structures and writing G-Code for major printers. Our goal is to provide a single solution that can be used for all printing methods and machines without having to switch users between many different programs.
3DN: What projects can we look forward to in the future from CoreTechnologie?
For the upcoming release in November, we’re focusing on the supporting structures for metallic printing and on some new AI-based algorithms to automatically improve support as well as part orientation. This month we will introduce the first version of an automatic batch nesting tool that can be easily integrated into all web server systems via the so-called Rest API.
Last but not least, we have just finished our SLS build manager and are now working on a 4D_Additive API that will provide advanced functionality such as 3D nesting, slicing, slicing, and generation support in an easy-to-use developer suite.
3DN: Do you have any final words for our readers?
We see great potential in 3D printing especially when it comes to achieving more independence from weak supply chains. Speaking to our customers, we can also see a serious and consistent change from classic production methods like injection molding towards additive manufacturing, especially when it comes to smaller, complex parts as well as small batches. You can learn more on our website over here.
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* All Image Credits: CoreTechnologie