CAMWorks Additive Manufacturing

What is CAMWorks Additive Manufacturing? How does additive manufacturing help with printing assemblies?

The blog below introduces you to CAMWorks Additive Manufacturing and how one can 3D print assemblies with the extended functionality with CAMWorks 2020.

CAMWorks Additive Manufacturing is powered by Materialise Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology to facilitate the production of metal parts, combining the benefits of AM freedom of design with the speed and accuracy of CNC machining.

In previous versions of the CAMWorks Additive Manufacturing module, part files could be 3D printed by generated Build Tickets using the Create AM Job Wizard. From CAMWorks 2020 version onwards, this functionality has been extended to Assemblies too.

Pre-requisites for executing an Additive Manufacturing Job for an Assembly

  • All those parts of the assembly that are to be 3D printed must fit within the machine volume
  • All those parts of the assembly that are to be 3D printed must be aligned with the build plate.

Here is an example of an Assembly whose component parts have been aligned with the Build Plate for Additive Manufacturing

Enhancements in the CAMWorks Additive Manufacturing User Interface for supporting 3D Printing of Assemblies

The process for generating Build Tickets for 3D printing of Assemblies is almost identical to the process for part files with a few small changes. When Build Tickets are to be generated for an assembly using the CAMWorks AM module, the following enhancement/changes will be visible in in the CAMWorks Additive Manufacturing user interface.

  1. Part Selection Tab in Part Manager Dialog Box of Create AM Job Wizard

Parameters and options within the Part Selection tab will be applicable only when you are executing the AM Job for an assembly. This tab lists all the parts that comprise the assembly. Use this tab to select only those parts of the assembly that are to be considered for the AM Job. (Parts not be selected include hidden or suppressed parts, parts that don’t fit within the machine volume and parts not aligned with the build plate.)

If you proceed with the settings in the dialog boxes of the Create AM Job Wizard without eliminating those parts that do not fit within the machine volume or are not aligned with the Build Plate, then an error message indicating that Build Ticket cannot be generated will be displayed when you execute the Build command in the Build Processor dialog box.

Part Selection Tab of Part Manager Dialog Box in Create AM Job Wizard in AM User Interface

  1. Disabling of Pattern Creation Functionality

The functionality of 3D printing multiple instances of a part model via the Create AM Job: Edit Pattern dialog box is available only for singular part files. It is not available for assembly files. The Edit Pattern dialog box will not be displayed in the Create AM Job Wizard when an assembly is selected.

  1. ‘Part Manager’ and ‘Part’ Items in Additive Manufacturing Tree

Part Manager: This item will be displayed in the AM tree only after an AM Job has been executed for an assembly. It will not be displayed in the AM tree when the AM Job has been executed for a single part model. Double-clicking on this item displays the Part Selection tab of the Create AM Job: Part Manager dialog box. Use the options provided within this tab to select the parts within the active assembly file that are to be selected for additive manufacturing. (Select only those parts that fit within the machine volume and are aligned to the Build Plate.)

Part: This item will be displayed in the AM tree only after an AM Job has been executed for an assembly. Part items are listed under the Part Manager item in the AM tree represent those parts of the assembly that were considered for the AM Job.

The Support Faces will be listed under the Part item these support faces were created for.

In order to distinguish between the multiple parts of the assembly that were considered for the AM Job, a numerical suffix (in incremental values of ‘1’) will be assigned to each Part listed under Part Manager item in the AM Tree.

Example:

Consider that an AM Job was executed for an assembly comprising 5 part models. Out of these 5 parts, only 3 were considered for the AM Job. In such a case, the Part items listed in the AM tree under Part Manager item will be Part1, Part2 and Part3.

CAMWorks 2020 is the most advanced CAM software available. The new and most advanced Additive Manufacturing powered by Materialise, includes automatic support structure generation CAMWorks automatically recognizes support structures and machinable features and can automatically program the subtractive machining operations.

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