SOFTWARE-ASSISTED PART IDENTIFICATION for additive manufacturing: The Partfinder

Identification of components for additive manufacturing by automated evaluation and analysis of the CAD data: The identification of AM-suitable components is challenging and time consuming. How to find suitable components for 3D printing? Which business case for Additive Manufacturing (AM) can be derived from the component spectrum with regard to spare parts, prototype parts or (pre-) series components? How can existing capacity of existing printers better utilized or new investments in 3D printing better aligned with expected range of future parts?

The starting point is the question: for which components a valid business case can be derived. In other words, which components can (and should) be manufactured additively?

Often investments already have been made in various 3D printers and the company is now, after manufacturing a few rather randomly selected test components, analyzing how to utilize the machines in an efficient way. As well the controller faces the challenge of a multitude of possible materials, technologies and installation space sizes to make the right investment decision.

Why not use data for automated classification and valuation that is based upon uniquely geometry data: The CAD data, including the PMI data.

The component dimensions, the Boundary Box or the area and center of gravity can be quickly obtained from the CAD data by using the Partfinder of Core Technologie GmbH. In addition, by reading out all the parametric data with the features, a downstream analysis calculates wall thickness distribution or the proportions of undercuts.

The CAD data is written in batch mode into a database with allow detailed analyses. By linking relevant queries and categorizations you get a short list of components that are suitable for different AM methods. The features and the design history can also be used to identify components which have been designed for conventional manufacturing processes, e. g. plastic injection molding.

There are a multitude of possibilities for software-supported part identification by the Partfinder to calculate a business case for AM. Important in the environment of sensitive data: The solution is not a cloud solution, the data remains in the company. The software is marketed by On-Premises, whereby the implementation starts with a Proof-of-Concept project. Alternatively the identification of components for additive manufacturing by the Partfinder can be set up as a project.