August 4, 2020
FabControl introduces 3DOptimizer, an online software tool for developing 3D printer settings. FabControl says the software addresses a “major issue” in additive manufacturing, the trial-and-error outcome that results from imprecise printer settings as a company moves from one material to another for various print jobs.
3DOptimizer works with most FFF/FDM 3D printers, including customized and self-built machines. The company says the main benefits of using 3DOptimizer are improving output from existing machines and the adoption of new materials quickly.
The testing process generally takes a few hours and used a few meters of filament. The software guides users through a series of tests that evaluate multiple parameter combinations. This is not simulation software. The testing is done using the 3D printer and the new material interactively. By printing tests and selecting results that work best, FabControl says process parameters are tailored for the particular machine and material faster than the traditional trial-and-error approach.
The output of 3DOptimizer is a set of configuration parameters for slicing software, commonly used to manage 3D print runs. Users can download the configuration files for most popular slicers or enter the parameters manually into any slicer.
The company says 3DOptimizer allows direct testing for mechanical strength, visual quality or short printing time, as needed.
The project is based on original research from Dr. Georgijs Bakradze while working at a 3D printer company. “We needed a systematic way to make new materials work,” says FabControl co-founder Janis Grinhofs. “We know what it takes to achieve best results from FFF technology. You need to bring materials science, hands-on 3D printing, hardware and software experience together, and spend quite a bit of time. We quickly saw our software could help most users of 3D printers spend less time on trying to ‘dial in’ their setup.”
3DOptimizer is available as an online service; a free trial of 3D Optimizer is available here.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.