Stratasys’ open software platform for production-scale additive manufacturing
Stratasys Ltd. introduced the GrabCAD Additive Manufacturing Platform, an open and enterprise-ready software platform that enables manufacturers to manage production-scale additive manufacturing operations.
Additive manufacturing systems are increasingly demonstrating their readiness for volume production of end-use parts. However, 3D printing at production scale also requires new software-driven operational capabilities, such as the ability to manage a large number of 3D printers across multiple locations, monitor output quality, automate materials management, and integrate within the broader enterprise. Traditional manufacturing solutions are not designed for additive workflows, which are digitally native, highly elastic and location independent.
Stratasys’ platform is specifically designed for the unique needs of additive manufacturing across the entire digital thread – from design through production – while also integrating with Industry 4.0 infrastructure and enterprise applications. Because of Stratasys’ dedicated focus on additive manufacturing and relationships with many of the world’s leading companies, the company is well-positioned to be the primary AM platform provider for its customers.
Research firm SmarTech Analysis has projected that the total global additive manufacturing software market will reach $3.3 billion by 2026, up from less than $500 million in 2020 as the overall additive manufacturing market continues to scale. The new platform provides Stratasys with the opportunity to strengthen its leadership position in the additive manufacturing industry through this growing addressable market.
“We see manufacturers moving their 3D printing operations from the lab to the production floor, and that significantly increases operational requirements for everything from productivity to quality assurance,” says Nadav Goshen, executive vice president of software for Stratasys. “The GrabCAD AM Platform, our enterprise software stack specifically for 3D printing, can be a catalyst for the growth of the additive manufacturing software market. It enables customers to efficiently manage ever larger and more complex operations to produce consistent, high-quality production parts at scale. This is an essential part of our vision to digitally transform manufacturing operations around the world.”
The GrabCAD Additive Manufacturing Platform integrates GrabCAD applications and third-party GrabCAD Software Partners via the GrabCAD Software Development Kit (SDK). It enables two-way connectivity between 3D printers, additive manufacturing and enterprise applications, and broader Industry 4.0 infrastructure. GrabCAD applications in the platform include:
GrabCAD Print: Simplifies the workflow between Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) and 3D print preparation. GrabCAD Print is CAD-agnostic, uses best-in-class security protocols, and is managed on the desktop or mobile.
GrabCAD Shop: Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) work order management application that simplifies the 3D printing workflow. All orders are managed in one location and are easily assigned to all networked printers, including Stratasys and non-Stratasys systems.
GrabCAD Print Manager: A new application that enables manufacturers to manage fleets of industrial 3D printers. GrabCAD Print Manager manage licenses to software and open material partners and provides customers the ability to view and manipulate production print schedules and view in-depth reports via desktop or mobile. Additional admin and access control are on the way with more details expected to be announced in early 2022.
GrabCAD Software Development Kit (SDK): Industry 4.0-ready SDKs provide API’s, documentation, code samples and support integration with enterprise IT as well as third-party applications for account management, asset management, planning and order management, security, quality management, and analytics.
In addition to Stratasys’ own GrabCAD applications, the platform is open to any software vendor that meets requirements such as references and performance testing, via an SDK licensing fee. Stratasys has added a dozen partners since the beginning of 2021 including AMFG, Teton Simulation and Link3D.
As of October 2021, the GrabCAD AM Platform consists of more than 38,000 application users, 20,000 3D printers, and 3,000 workflow users. The platform processes 35 gigabytes of data streams per day and is supported by a global team of more than 100 developers.
“Additive manufacturing can be a significant beneficiary of smart manufacturing, leveraging its digital-native capabilities, with the right software platform support,” says Ryan Martin, research director, ABI Research. “We believe an effective additive manufacturing platform should be comprehensive, scalable as additive implementations scale, open to the significant innovation we’re seeing from the growing community of AM software vendors, and supportive of multivendor 3D printer implementations. Stratasys is a candidate to lead with its GrabCAD Additive Manufacturing Platform.”