Why GrabCAD Print is One of the Best Examples of 3D Printing Software
With each update to GrabCAD Print, it is rapidly becoming one of the best and most useful 3D printing software programmes available to FDM and PolyJet users. Every update offers even more tools and tips to help users get the most out of their Stratasys 3D printer.
What is GrabCAD Print?
GrabCAD Print is a print management and scheduling system from Stratasys. Utilising an easy to use, cloud-enabled interface, it aims to provide an all in one 3D printing software package solution. It allows users to schedule jobs, manage multiple printers and control outputs remotely.
The system perfectly complements the GrabCAD Workbench and the online GrabCAD Community. GrabCAD Workbench helps contributors to remain on the same page throughout a task, sharing files in one online project. The online GrabCAD Community, is the largest online community for product development professionals. It enables users to connect with one another, share CAD files, tools and tips, as well as compete in design challenges. Through this, product developers are able to improve and refine their methods, to create amazing 3D printed objects using the GrabCAD Print software.
GrabCAD Print Features and Benefits
One of the major benefits of using the GrabCAD Print software is time. It is clear that it has been designed with time-saving features very much at the forefront of the mind.
For example, the system allows the user to print directly from CAD. STL, VRML and native CAD files (i.e. Creo, SOLIDWORKS, NX, CATIA and Inventor) can all be printed directly and damaged files repaired automatically. In doing this, files do not have to be exported and converted thus, shortening the design to production cycle.
In addition to this, the UX is designed to be as user friendly as possible. With smart default settings, helpful tools and tips to provide seamless guidance through the printing process, users can be up and running in next to no time. This also means that minimal training is required to operate the system helping to save precious time and resources.
In the same way, effectively employing the print scheduling software aids users in creating a business grade workflow. The scheduling tool shows the print queue for all printers, potential issues with the job i.e. insufficient model materials, projected end time and the ability to enable normal company operating hours to give an accurate schedule forecast. Schedules can also be set up, monitored and adjusted remotely, from any device. Efficient scheduling ensures billing is accurate and resources are being used in the best possible way. When a job is finished or encounters an error, email notifications will be sent in order to help get the job back on track or allow the next job to begin.
In terms of technical benefits, the GrabCAD Print software boasts many innovative features and solutions to complex issues. First of all, GrabCAD provides highly detailed model views, including tray and slice previews. This means that necessary adjustments can be identified and implemented prior to printing.
Furthermore, the system permits advanced FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) properties to be controlled. Using geometry targeted tools, lightweight designs using minimal material can be created, without compromising on strength and durability. Advanced controls mean that models can be controlled on a job by job basis, with the ability to update printing processes easily. Native CAD surfaces can be selected for optimal printing, certain surfaces can be thickened for increased rigidity and holes can be customised to be self supporting.
Finally, with the GrabCAD Print software, a much higher level of product realism can be achieved. With built in Pantone® colour books and advanced validated Pantone® matching, colours will be true to expectations. Moreover, complex parts can be made realistic by combining graphics, textures and different levels of transparency, translucency and opacity.
As they say, information is power; the GrabCAD Print software certainly takes this into account offering detailed information regarding the printing process. Printer usage can be analyzed like never before, with comprehensive reports including materials used, time resources used, type of job etc. By using this information, businesses are able to identify new opportunities and refine print processes.
Further to this, print processes can be documented easily within the programme. Instructions and comments can be added to models at each stage of the process and exported as PDFs to create manufacturing documentation.
Naturally to businesses who use 3D printing, processes and CAD files are major assets, therefore, it is important to protect them. GrabCAD has high levels of security to ensure customer’s peace of mind. No specific data regarding jobs is collected by GrabCAD Print and if worried, users are able to use the software in offline mode. They can connect locally to printers so that no data is sent over the GrabCAD Print network.
For any information you do want to share, such as tips, tricks, and CAD files, the GrabCAD online community is the perfect place. As mentioned earlier, it brings together the largest community of product development professionals. By sharing knowledge, users are able to learn and implement new skills and to perfect their 3D printing methods and processes.
To summarise, the GrabCAD Print software has a wide range of features giving it an edge for users of Stratasys FDM and PolyJet printers. One of the main benefits that makes it stand out, is the user friendly nature of the interface. Many of the features are tailored towards this, making the process slick and therefore much quicker to use than many other programmes.
Additionally, from a technical point of view GrabCAD simplifies complex areas. The high detail of model views means that potentially problematic areas can be identified and rectified before printing. The geometry targeted tools also allow less printing material to be used without compromising the end result.
Lastly, the informational benefits of the software mean that much deeper analysis of printer usage can be carried out. By doing this, areas for improvements and further opportunities are much more likely to be identified and acted upon.