10/5/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

Software Development Kits Provide Stepping Stone for 3D Printing Applications

Software development kits (SDKs) from Tech Soft 3D enable companies to create 3D printing applications without extensive in-house development.


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Tech Soft 3D offers software development kits (SDKs) to provide CAD translation, visualization, modeling and mesh processing capabilities for additive manufacturing applications. The company says additive manufacturing software developers using these kits can get better functionality in their applications more quickly and cost-effectively than developing such capabilities in-house.

According to Tech Soft 3D, a critical problem facing the additive manufacturing industry is how to get quality manufacturing data into 3D printing systems. STL files have traditionally been used but can be problematic and error prone.

The company’s HOOPS Exchange toolkit, capable of reading both native and standard CAD file formats, can help meet this need, increasing ease-of-use as well as print quality. The toolkit reads more than 20 native CAD formats including CATIA, NX, CRO, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Inventor, STL, STEP and IGES. It also supports the incorporation of geometry dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), computational engineering analysis (CAE) and metrology for quality control with data accessed from the original CAD files.

Other toolkits include the HOOPS Visualize 3D graphic engine for desktop and mobile use, HOOPS Communicator 3D graphic engine for web visualization, and HOOPS Publish for 3D data publishing and 3D print exporting.

Tech Soft has also partnered with Machineworks to offer Polygonica, a mesh healing toolkit, alongside its HOOPS components. Polygonica offers mesh healing and mesh processing tools specific to 3D printing workflows, and can work in conjunction with HOOPS graphics engines, HOOPS Visualize for desktop and mobile use, or HOOPS Communicator for web visualization. Convergent Modelling for combining meshes and boundary representation (BREP) is also available through the Siemens Parasolid Modeling Kernel.

Customers who have incorporated these toolkits include Sculpteo, a 3D print service bureau that uses HOOPS exchange to load CAD file formats without additional CAD software, and Renishaw, which integrates Polygonica for its dental 3D printing software.