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Autodesk and Stratasys Collaborate on Generatively Optimized 3D Printed Rollerblades

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In order to show off the latest advances in its generative design software, specifically Fusion 360, Autodesk partnered with Stratasys on production via FDM additive manufacturing of a pair of optimized 3D printed rollerblades. The skates which were designed by Matteo Crocetti, Technical Sales MFG EMEA, and Michele Bongiovanni, Senior Technical Sales Specialist Autodesk. They were 3D printed in ABS on a new Stratasys F370 3D printer.

The project aims to demonstrate the creative possibilities offered by generative design technology in Fusion 360 CAD software as well as the capabilities of the new Stratasys F123 series FDM 3D printers (especially the F370 model), which can offer high performance materials and geometries at more affordable prices.

The pair of fully functional roller blades, optimized with Fusion 360, and 3D printed in PC -ABS on the Stratasys F370 in just a few hours time. Everything started with the structure to hold the wheels. A geometrically simple structure, produced with traditional molds, would be both very expensive to produce, very heavy and it would use a lot of material. A lot of the material and weight is due to the fixed shoe design of most current rollerblades

The part was thus subsequently trimmed down through Fusion 360’s generative features, without sacrificing its structural integrity. The solid modeling software was used to define the volume and the hooks of the supporting structure with respect to the set of standard components such as the wheels.

The rollerblades generative model is much lighter and allows for use of multiple shoes. A shoe with cycling connector was used in order to ensure sufficient safety and rigidity, as well as very simple interchangeability (quick release), multiple size availability or the ability to use one’s own shoes. The final model was developed by 3D scanning and subsequently importing the shoe.

Through the simulation capabilities of Fusion 360 a number structural constraints were set such (loads, resistors, applied forces), as was the desired material of the final piece and the desired optimization of the previously modeled volume.

In parallel, a set of analyses were elaborated based on different parameters. Exploiting the possibility of cloud based processing power, Fusion 360 selected the the most interesting combination in terms of the structural characteristics of the resulting shape.

Moving on to the modeling environment, the new T-Splines (now fully integrated in Fusion 360) were used to finalize the solid based on the calculation model, improving aesthetics. After completing the assembly, the roller skate was seamlessly moved into the rendering enivronment to create photorealistic images in order to present the results, to then finally move on to exporting the models for 3D printing on the F370.

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