AM SoftwareMetal Additive ManufacturingProduct LaunchSimulation

Autodesk releases simulation extension for Fusion 360 suite

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

Trial-and-error build modeling in the additive manufacturing sector limits 3D printing’s uptake in industrial activity. Trial and error has been necessary because repeated build failures show designers how best to correct for errors. The material and human costs associated with such failures, however, do not justify AM uptake in the near-term. Mass production or short-run customization require dependable build modeling from the outset. Companies are developing AM simulators to remedy this gap across the AM space.

Autodesk is one such company releasing a new simulation extension for its Fusion 360 suite of software. The company already announced that it was folding its suite of Netfabb tools into its Fusion 360 suite. Netfabb provides a simulation feature within the design process; Autodesk builds upon the Netfabb engine to create native simulation capacity within the 360 suite.

This improvement reduces the risk of a trial-and-error approach to modeling AM designs. The software extension allows Autodesk users to proof their designs using algorithmic prediction models. In so doing, Autodesk’s offering spurs AM uptake by alleviating the pressures and costs associated with design and modeling.

The software is, more importantly, directed at metal’s unique properties when heated, which is a process common to all extant metal AM techniques. Heated metals tend to develop imperfections and misbehave.

Autodesk’s software assesses three parts of a metal additive design: its printability prior to examination by an engineer; its propensity for structural print failures (hot spots, lack of fusion and support structure failure); and its risk of distortion during the print process.

The software takes a particularly sharp aim at recoater interference in powder bed manufacturing. Recoater interference occurs when a deposited layer is too thick. The built layer comes into contact with the moving recoater, which moves across the bed to smooth it out after each layer. If the recoater contacts the object, it can sweep away part of the object, thus causing failure. Autodesk’s software checks designs for potential recoater interference due, for example, to object distortion, to avoid this common problem. 

Autodesk’s current innovation stems from its acquisition of Pan Computing in March 2016. This strategic move was commercialized as Netfabb, which forms the base for the Fusion 360’s simulation feature by running a thermo-mechanical Finite element analysis solver. This algorithm is a proprietary multi-scale modeling approach that delivers fast and accurate results on customers’ (admittedly high-end) desktop computers.

Customers looking to take advantage of this feature will need to purchase the Additive Build Extension.

Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Adam Strömbergsson

Adam is a legal researcher and writer with a background in law and literature. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has spent the last decade in Ottawa, Canada, where he has worked in legislative affairs, law, and academia. Adam specializes in his pursuits, most recently in additive manufacturing. He is particularly interested in the coming international and national regulation of additive manufacturing. His past projects include a history of his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. He has also specialized in equity law and its relationship to judicial review. Adam’s current interest in additive manufacturing pairs with his knowledge of historical developments in higher education, copyright and intellectual property protections.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services


Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.