Stronger Parts at the Click of a Button

Markforged Performance Advisor automatically analyzes a part and recommends print settings that improve strength while keeping costs low.

Markforged Performance Advisor automatically analyzes a part and recommends print settings that improve strength while keeping costs low.

Performance Advisor, new to the Markforged Eiger software, is a fast and easy way to get stronger parts when use cases are unknown. Image Courtesy of Markforged

Achieving strong and durable parts is the holy grail of additive manufacturing. Markforged has now come up with a way to deliver next-level strength analysis without knowing the use case and without requiring expertise in simulation tools.

The new Performance Advisor capability, now integrated into Markforged’s Eiger software, provides a novel way of analyzing part performance, automatically generating recommended print settings designed to make parts stronger while keeping added costs and print time to a minimum. The capability provides a taste of what’s possible with Simulation, the company’s subscription add-on feature built on capabilities gleaned from Markforged’s acquisition of Teton Simulation Software that is used to optimize part strength when there’s a known use case.

Performance Advisor uses a patent-pending, physics-based analysis method that allows for structural analysis without a use case, making it accessible to everyone, including those who aren’t familiar with structural analysis or simulation. Without requiring user input, the software automatically analyzes the part and recommends print settings to improve strength while showcasing the added cost and print time so users can calculate whether the performance improvement is worth it. Performance Advisor recommends print settings to improve the strength ratio by making adjustments to the roof and wall layers along the thickness of the shell. Users can apply the recommended setting with a single button click or ignore them, moving on to the rest of the Eiger workflow.

“For people who don’t have access to advanced simulation tools or know what a specific use case is, this gives them quantifiably stronger parts at the click of a button,” explains Rick Dalgarno, Markforged’s product marketing manager. “We’re trying to find that balance to deliver a stronger part without blowing print time and cost.”

While Performance Advisor serves as a lightweight tool to help customers achieve a stronger part when they aren’t sure how it’s going to be used, Simulation is the tool of choice to optimize part strength for applications with known use cases and to provide more detailed insights. With Simulation, users configure a use case depicting real-world constraints, and the software calculates an estimate of part strength while also optimizing print settings to satisfy safety factor targets. Here as well, the goal is to improve overall part strength while keeping material cost and print time to a minimum.

Markforged envisions Performance Advisor as a stepping stone to Simulation when and if users are ready to dive deeper into strength analysis. “Performance Advisor is a glide path to Simulation where users know more about the part and want to ask some more detailed questions,” says Doug Kenik, lead on Markforged’s software product management team.

Simulation is available in the Advanced Digital Forge subscription plan while Performance Advisor is accessible to all users that have a printer registered to their Eiger organization. Plans call for Performance Advisor to be enhanced to consider infill density and continuous fiber capabilities as part of its strength evaluation, officials said.

For a look at how Performance Advisor automatically improves part strength, watch this video.

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Beth Stackpole's avatar
Beth Stackpole

Beth Stackpole is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to [email protected].

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