Editor’s Pick: Simulation for additive manufacturing processes
Desktop Metal Live Suite extends the company’s Live Sinter simulation software.
March 15, 2023
Desktop Metal introduces Live Suite, a set of applications for users of the company’s binder jet additive and digital light processing manufacturing systems. Live Suite extends the company’s Live Sinter simulation software, to simulate the end-to-end printing and sintering processes.
Live Sinter remains the heart of this new set of programs. The company says it uses advanced multiphysics simulation requiring graphics programming units (GPUs) to simulate the complete end-to-end process. Just as engineers use simulation on design models to test for form, fit and function, the tools in Live Suite use simulation to test for buildability on the various units in the Digital Metal portfolio. Recent acquisitions have brought new printers into the company from the former ExOne and ETEC.
“We believe Live Suite offers the most intuitive and powerful AM software on the market,” says Desktop CEO and founder Ric Fulop. “It is the culmination of six years of development by our talented global software team, to make AM technology easy to use and ensure it delivers the highest quality results with the most intelligent approaches.”
There are four separate tools in Live Suite:
■ Live Sinter manages production of sintered metal parts via binder jetting with generative AI multiphysics sintering simulation and scan-based adjustments to “deliver parts with tight tolerances.”
■ Live Build MFG is a desktop-based build preparation software which replaces and upgrades Desktop Metal’s Fabricate MFG application. Live Build MFG supports build preparation for all binder jet 3D printing of metal, wood, ceramic, and sand designs. The company says customers currently using ExOne X-Prep or other similar tools will be phased into Live Build MFG over the next 12 months.
■ Live Build DLP is desktop-based build preparation software for customers of Desktop Health and ETEC digital light processing (DLP) printers for photopolymer, elastomer, and foam. Customers currently using Envision One RP and other similar tools will be phased into Live Build DLP over the next 12 months.
■ Live Studio is a cloud-based build preparation software that replaces and upgrades Fabricate. Live Studio supports slicing and build preparation for Desktop Metal’s Bound Metal Deposition systems, including the Studio System 2.
Desktop Metal also introduces Live Platform, a cloud-based hub for all Live Suite applications. It is organized into four categories: Build, Manage, Learn and Support. It is the administrative hub for Live Suite. It is used to provision and manage systems and users, to access firmware updates, and to provide a channel for knowledge and technical support. There is a Business Units feature, which allows larger companies with multiple users and departments to manage 3D printer permissions and controls for groups.
Customers can also use Live Platform to add a variety of options, such as part serialization or optimized build instructions for specific parts. Other add-ons include Autopilot—automated build prep for dental processes; and Live Monitor—remote viewing of jobs as they progress through printers and related equipment.
Desktop Metal says Live Suite will come standard with most new hardware this year, eliminating the need for customers to buy other software to manage 3D printing projects. Existing customers will see updates to their software on various schedules, depending on the hardware in use.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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