Can I 3D Print This?

New online analysis tool from EOS aims to help customers answer that question and easily explore the viability of 3D printed parts.

New online analysis tool from EOS aims to help customers answer that question and easily explore the viability of 3D printed parts.

The Can I 3D Print This? platform helps customers determine whether a part can be 3D printed. Image Courtesy of EOS North America

In an attempt to help companies pull the trigger on 3D printing, EOS is taking the guesswork out of the equation with a new online tool that does a thorough part analysis and makes critical recommendations for AM output.

The new Can I 3D Print This? online analysis tool, launched by EOS’ Additive Minds Consulting team, lets engineers upload a part to a user-friendly platform and receive a report that highlights the critical factors governing whether or not the part is a good candidate for either metal or polymer 3D printing. The Can I 3D Print This? tool is designed to help organizations over the hurdles of initial decision-making surrounding AM, which many still see as an emerging technology that is more risky than traditional production practices.

“We’re trying to lower the barrier of either entry or inquiry into additive, especially for newer organizations where there’s typically a lot of questions,” says Dr. David Krzeminski, EOS North America’s senior Additive Minds consultant. “We wanted to make it easy to evaluate whether something is 3D printable in a format that’s scalable and a digital tool.”

Many customers come to the EOS Additive Minds consulting organization for exactly that process, enlisting consulting engagements to determine whether or not a part would benefit from a switch to AM. As adoption of AM grows, organizations without experience or expertise in 3D printing are interested in the process and can benefit from a tool that provides some base answers without the cost and resources of a formal consulting arrangement. “This very quickly creates a compact package of information,” Krzeminski says. “We put the information in a report style for them to review and take away to their team to understand what factors they need to keep an eye on.”

Can I 3D Print This? takes what was an otherwise manual process and turns it into a digital report that is easy to digest with visual cues. Users input information about their current manufacturing methods and upload the part design file, and the platform generates a comprehensive analysis that covers cost estimation, predicted production time, recommended materials, and the ideal EOS AM system for the job. Can I 3D Print This? also does a financial break-even and production time analysis in comparison to current manufacturing methods along with an analysis that adjusts based on part orientation.

EOS partnered with CASTOR to create the tool; CASTOR’s decision support software serves as the base interface, algorithms, and analysis engine while EOS’ Additive Minds consulting group provided base knowledge about materials, cost drivers for building parts, and general best practices and knowledge of AM production.

The goal for the initiative is to make AM easier and to guide potential users through the initial decisioning process, “Once they get beyond this first analysis they can engage at a deeper level with the Additive Minds consulting team,” Krzeminski says. “This is designed as a first blush.”

Watch this video to dive into EOS’ 10 rules for additive manufacturing.

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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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