Sintratec aims to take 3D printing software ‘to the next level’ with new nesting update

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SLS 3D printer maker Sintratec has released a software update designed to help manufacturers optimize the way they pack their system’s build volume during production.

Released as an upgrade to the company’s core software, the nesting add-on uses an algorithm to automatically organize the parts in the production volume of Sintratec’s S2, allowing machine users to achieve the best packing density possible.

In doing so, company CTO Christian von Burg says the updated nesting allows users to optimize their throughput with every print run, making the current “headache” of manual part placement ” a thing of the past for Sintratec customers ”.

“No other program on the market is able to nest 3D parts so densely in such a short time as ours,” said von Burg. “The Sintratec Nesting Solution therefore marks an important step on the road to efficient additive manufacturing and is a real game-changer in the field of selective laser sintering (SLS).

“With the addition of a 3D nesting feature, we are taking our software to the next level. “

Sintratec’s scalable SLS approach

Since its establishment in the Swiss city of Brugg in 2014, Sintratec has established a strong portfolio of compact SLS 3D printers and integrated peripherals. Although the company launched its low-cost Sintratec kit five years ago for just € 5,000, the product is still part of its core offering for prototyping customers and continues to meet the needs of users in the medical industries, industrial and education.

Along with its entry-level kit system, the company also markets the Sintratec S2, which is specially designed to allow users to scale their operations as their business grows. Consisting of a laser sintering station, a central material unit and a handling station, the S2 offers users a unique stand-alone solution that allows them to seamlessly move from one process step to another. .

In the past, Sintratec’s scalable system has often found automotive applications, with Daimler installing the machine at one of its Bavarian branches to 3D print spare parts for buses and trucks in 2019. Likewise, students at the ‘ETH Zurich have already designed a functional electric motorcycle using the company’s software. , an offer that she is developing with the aim of “opening up completely new possibilities for AM”.

Sintratec says its new nesting feature could provide S2 users with significant cost and material savings. Photo via Sintratec.

Optimization of automated nesting

Today, SLS 3D printing often requires users to manually place models into a machine’s build volume before going into production, in order to optimize the number of parts produced by each batch. According to Sintratec, however, this time-consuming and material-intensive process can lead to “poor results”.

By taking advantage of the company’s software upgrade, users can now simply import their 3D models into Central, and the nester will analyze and distribute those parts for optimal printing results. Users can even select different configurations to meet their specific project goals, allowing them to choose between full package density or a focus on achieving a desired component orientation.

Thanks to the algorithm built into the software, Sintratec says it is able to perform these calculations faster than its competitors, while achieving “new standards in packaging density.” Elsewhere, to show the throughput unlocked by its update, the company made print runs of nine test models, finding that the software increased its production from 78 to 114 pieces, reducing their overall cost by 5.75. $ to $ 3.79.

When deployed to 100 print jobs, the company estimates that its nesting solution could save users up to 50 hours of labor, 47kg of powder, and 800 hours of print time. To give all of its customers the opportunity to exploit these potential benefits, Sintratec has made the upgrade free for the first year to all S2 users, with annual licenses now costing € 1,490.

An image of a simulated build volume before and after using the Sintratec nesting feature.
A simulated build volume before and after using the Sintratec nesting function. Image via Sintratec.

3D printing nesting solutions

Given the time-consuming nature of manually organizing build volumes, it’s hardly surprising that developers are starting to upgrade the nesting capabilities of their software offerings. In December 2020, CoreTechnologie added a new nesting function to its 4D_Additive program, which uses ML algorithms to provide users with a uniformly organized build volume.

Likewise, Link3D released a True Shape Nesting update in 2019 which was designed to help users find an optimal nesting strategy based on the shape of a given 3D model. Compatible with MJF and SLS machines, the new and improved program allowed users to use any orientation for parts, including the Z axis.

Sintratec’s more direct competitor, Sinterit, has also launched a new version of Studio, its dedicated software offering, which includes a number of upgrades. More importantly, the update introduced an “auto nesting” feature that automatically organizes user parts on the build plate into an optimized formation, potentially unlocking higher model throughputs.

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The image shown shows an engineer using updated software from Sintratec to nest parts in the build volume of a 3D printer. Photo via Sintratec.

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