For 3D printing to make the jump from rapid prototyping to manufacturing, engineers will need to find easier ways to move products from their CAD screens to their printers. And while that may be a difficult task, it is nevertheless doable, software experts told Design News.
“The printer has the ability to print and the engineers have the ability to design,” Igal Kaptsan, vice president of solution management at PTC, told us. “But right now, there’s not a good marriage between them. That’s what we’re trying to fix.”
PTC said that it has already begun streamlining that process on its Creo product design software. The software maker has accomplished that by incorporating some of the steps required for 3D printing into its software tool. Setting of part tolerances and verification of geometries, for example, can now be done inside Creo.
“Engineers can generate the physical parts and verify them from their computers,” Kaptsan said at PTC Live Global 2013 earlier this month. “They don’t need to export anything. And they don’t need to interact with people who fix geometries.”