The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a business platform providing software solutions and services for every team in your organization – Engineering, Marketing, Sales, IT, Finance, HR, executive offices and more – so that you can build and deliver the best products, services and experiences for your customers. The tools in the 3DEXPERIENCE toolbox address all manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing.
So, how can you use 3DEXPERIENCE platform when 3D printing?
First off, there’s the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace, consisting of three functions; Engineering, Make and Part Supply. Engineering is a service for companies in need of digitization, design or certification of parts. Here, engineers can search for service providers and upload a design or specifications. Providers can be both external and in-house.
“A good example is reverse engineering. In some cases, spare parts just can’t be sourced”, says Jasmin Dzinic, Field Specialist at PLM Group. “An alternative is to have your damaged or worn out part 3D scanned, redesigned and produced, traditionally, or with 3D printing.”
“Engineering is perfect in cases where you don’t have the inhouse knowledge or tools to digitize your spare parts, you can instantly find providers that can do the reverse engineering needed, from specifications and demands on materials et cetera, to print-ready design.”
Make is a tool for producing parts. As with Engineering, you can search for manufacturing companies around the globe, be that traditional manufacturing technologies or 3D printing. Send a file in several formats, such as stl, obj, step, catpart, sldprt, igs or iges, add your specifications and a list of suitable providers appear. PartSupply, the third tool in the Marketplace toolbox, is basically a product catalogue with digital designs. Categories are numerous – bearings, springs, seals, fasteners and ventilators.
Apart from simplifying the ordering of parts, “PartSupply also lets you download the digital file in various formats, says Jasmin Dzinic. You can use these digital components to compare, print a prototype or add to existing assemblies.”
The challenges of collaboration
Regardless of whether you are using 3D printing inhouse or outsource to a service bureau, tools to collaborate and communicate often don’t meet requirements. Many companies that rely on a service bureau for their 3D printing and CAD design needs, find the collaboration process unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming.
“Challenges often include handling different file types, inefficient communication via email and not being able to add comments to an ongoing project”, says Jasmin Dzinic. “In product development, the concept and prototyping stages are heavily guarded, so security must be extra tight. This means only select people, inhouse or external, have access to project data.”
Viewing CAD data on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is hassle-free. No more need to have a CAD software license for each member of a team. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is CAD neutral, and anyone with an account for the platform, external or internal, can view CAD data. This is a feature that adds to the transparency and speeds up the decision-making aspects of any project.
Another cost-free tool on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is Social Collaboration Services. It is designed to address the challenges that many manufacturing and engineering companies face on a daily basis, challenges that can potentially hamper growth. Social media has changed the way we communicate with each other, and 3DEXPERIENCE Social Collaboration Services brings that comfortable mode of communication to the business world with essential applications and services on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
“With Social Collaboration Services, you can collaborate across the whole organization, and even add external stakeholders to a project”, says Jasmin Dzinic. “Access to information and data can be targeted to teams or individuals, and all data can be centralized to one, single location, searchable and safely stored.”