Carbon releases new version of 3D printing software

(Image credit: Carbon)

USA-based Carbon has released a new version of its 3D printing software that incorporates additional automated tools for designing, engineering and producing polymer parts utilizing the company’s digital light synthesis (DLS) hardware and resins.

The expanded tool range sets out to enable users to: print parts more easily and successfully first time round; optimize supports according to material usage; and minimize post-processing. Furthermore, it is supported by cloud-based finite element analysis (FEA), a computerized method that simulates the forces of DLS on the part.

Simulations demand a great deal of computing power and, as a result, are often slow to create. Carbon is said to have employed a secure, cloud-based computing architecture that reduces the time typically required for simulations from days to hours.

Advanced auto support is a cloud-enabled feature that allows users to analyze their parts and thus increases the likelihood of their initial prints being successful. It also helps users ascertain those areas of a part that may need extra support. Fence supports have been introduced to support part edges, so that they print precisely, thus reducing material usage and the number of support artifacts required.

Additional features of the software include:

  • Control of the printing process's chemical reaction—Complex physics and chemistry models are built into the software, so the printer knows, for example, how to print a fluidic part versus a shoe midsole.
  • Algorithmic design capabilities—Designers can create internal lattice structures and add aesthetic and functional textures.
  • Printer profiles—Carbon's printers afford multiple profiles and users can produce a print in a broad range of geometries.  
  • Digital traceability—A unique ID can be automatically engraved or embossed on any part and used to identify its historical record and access details such as the specific printer, resin and post-processing protocols employed for its manufacture.
  • Fleet management—A number of Carbon’s printers or SpeedCell operations can be supported through real-time dashboards, aggregate data and reports and application programming interfaces (APIs) that facilitate integration with existing business systems.

Commenting on the latest version of the software, Roy Goldman, director of software at Carbon, said: ‘Carbon’s software creates a digital canvas on which every cubic millimeter of a part can be designed, controlled and optimized before it's printed. We’ve built this software from the ground up, providing our customers with a comprehensive view of the design process that helps ensure a part performs as desired and enables fast printing and easy post-processing. These new FEA-backed automated support tools are the first of their kind and take our software to a whole new level.’

Dr. Joseph DeSimone, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Carbon, added: ‘Carbon’s core technology is enabling new business models that inherently need new software. Printing parts on demand, re-purposing a fleet of machines to print a range of parts daily or even hourly, local production for local markets; these are all challenges big manufacturing and ERP companies have talked about for years, but progress has largely been stagnant because the underlying technology hasn’t existed. Carbon is changing the game by solving each of these problems head on, moving beyond prototyping to real-world production at scale.’