Materialise’s Magics is second to none in various additive manufacturing data preparation software. DEVELOP3D, a well-known paper and digital media in Europe and the United States, tracks and reports the core technology in the product development process. Today, let us follow Al Dean of DEVELOP3D to learn more about the latest version of the famous software Magics!
Materialise Magics® is data preparation software for additive manufacturing. Just as mechanical engineers need to use CAM software to create numerical control codes that drive the CNC, additive manufacturing engineers also need professional software to optimize the printing process and ensure the correctness of the printed results. For the majority of users, Materialise Magics® is the undisputed market leader. Before we discuss some important upgrades of Magics 24, there are some functional updates that are not so eye-catching, but they will still benefit many users. For example, the new version adds a view cube, located at the bottom of the screen. Most CAD users are familiar with this small tool. For those users who are too unfamiliar, the view cube can provide a convenient X, Y, and Z axis reference, and you can quickly switch to the orthographic view of the model by clicking. Nowadays, many softwares provide view cubes. The previous version of Materialise (Magics 23) lacked very useful view name tags (top view, left view, bottom view, etc.). This has been fixed in Magics 24, making the view cube more usable, especially for new users. It is also possible to rename data in batches in Magics. The reason for this feature is that, under normal circumstances, a single print will contain multiple parts. Therefore, reorganizing the imported, repaired and placed parts is very useful for subsequent data processing.
The new batch renaming function means that you can sequentially number parts or add a prefix to all parts related to a specific customer or project. You can use it not only for data in Magics projects, but also for data files that need to be exported after repairing and processing. In addition, the Boolean operation in Magics has also been comprehensively improved. Many operations in the system rely on this algorithm, including hollowing out parts, adding holes to discharge resin or powder, shelling, labeling parts, and so on. Boolean operations are now faster, better, and more stable. In addition to the user interface and data management improvements, there is also a new feature update that seems to be very popular among Beta testers-adding chamfers to the edges of parts. For CAD users, this sounds like a piece of cake, but considering that Magics handles mesh data, this is not an easy task. Similar to the fillet function in the previous version, you can construct a chamfer in a variety of ways (specify the angle and distance or the distance in two directions, etc.).
If you know anything about additive manufacturing, you know that sharp edges can cause heat build-up, especially for metal additive manufacturing (although it also occurs in polymer sintering). Chamfering is a quick and effective way to solve this problem. Placing the parts for laser sintering and MJF technology now, let’s take a look at some of the major updates in this version. For a long time, Magics has provided highly respected and widely used sintering modules for users who use powder polymer printers (such as laser sintering printers) or HP MJF printers. These placement tools allow you to place parts (numbers ranging from a few to thousands) into the forming chamber as closely as possible. The key to this is to be able to provide enough control. These controls require attention to both process and parts. Each process, material, and machine has its own criteria. These criteria define the minimum distance between parts, whether other parts can be placed in one part, and where in the molding chamber for a specific machine/material combination Can get the best printing effect. You can also control individual parts: For example, you may want to place parts with high accuracy requirements in the middle of the machine so that heat-related problems will not be obvious. You can also control the placement angle of the parts. All these controls have been provided by Magics in previous versions. But this is not to say that there is no room for improvement. First of all, the new version has improved the placement algorithm to greatly increase its speed. For example, calculate the placement of 2,500 parts in the forming cabin so that the distance between each part and all its adjacent parts is less than 2mm, thereby reducing the vertical height and completing the printing faster. This calculation process is very complicated and takes a lot of time. The good news is that in the new version, the time required for calculation is usually in seconds instead of minutes.
Magics’s premier part placement function has become faster in this version. Although many software have similar tools, the key is whether they can provide high-quality results. If you are still worrying about the long calculation time (for example, the amount of parts is particularly large), there is now a new and simple way of placing. It uses a simple bounding box instead of considering the geometry of the part like a traditional placement tool, so the calculation result can be obtained immediately. What is worth mentioning is the power of Magics placement tools. Many CAD software vendors have begun to introduce placement tools for additive manufacturing in their products. However, these tools are often placed only in bounding boxes and can hardly provide control over all the key factors you need to consider. In other words, they are good “demonstration software”, but in a real environment, these tools are not very useful to users. In contrast, Magics was developed for this purpose. It provides the control you need and generates a report of the placement results. Maintain the association with STEP files. As we have already discussed, Magics is mainly developed for processing grid-based data, but it also provides a variety of ways to help you import CAD data and convert it internally. This is usually a one-way operation: after the part is imported and converted, the associativity with the original part disappears. The good news is that the STEP import in Magics 24 has changed all of this. Now you can import the STEP file into Magics and keep it associative with the mesh file. This will bring you three benefits.
First, you can adjust the meshing method of the part according to your needs.
Second, efficiently linking CAD data with mesh data means that you can select specific surfaces of the STEP file, and then the software will select the corresponding mesh-much easier than selecting them directly through the mesh. The third advantage is that when you adjust the direction of the part in Magics, the STEP file will also change accordingly. When it comes to the use of CNC to remove parts support, or even (becoming more and more common in certain processes) for post-processing parts that still have support and are still connected to the printing platform, you can export a STEP file , Without matching, directly program the part in the correct direction. Metal printing simulation Magics 23 introduces simulation tools for metal additive manufacturing. In Magics 24, we have seen significant improvements in these features. These tools cover mechanical simulation and thermal simulation of additive manufacturing. Both types of simulation use a voxel-based approach, so you can fully control the nature of the voxel mesh, view the original simulation results, or map the results to the geometry of the part. You can use the mechanical simulation tool to perform standard strength and strain analysis of the part during the printing process. By using detailed information about printing parameters, materials, and machines, the simulation tool will provide you with detailed feedback on areas where high stress and displacement occur. Therefore, you can not only find areas that may require heat treatment, but you can also eliminate these stresses by editing the supports appropriately. At the same time, thermal simulation tools focus on how parts are heated and cooled during the printing process.
Therefore, you can make an accurate prediction of the overheated area, and combine it with the conclusions drawn from the mechanical simulation, which will play a very important role in troubleshooting. Magics will use the simulation results as a benchmark to predict the printing results. For example, the displacement or deformation of parts during the printing process may interfere with the movement of the squeegee, so Magics will provide you with a “squeegee risk” analysis. This is also true for areas where shrinkage lines may occur. You can use Magics to perform mechanical and thermal simulations to gain a deeper understanding of the state of the molding chamber. The squeegee risk is being evaluated here. The new version also has some updates that allow you to better control the size of voxels (based on Simufact based on voxel simulation technology development). You can also interpret the simulation results through more visualization options. Now, you can also check the surface temperature of the part through the improved detection function. If you want to view the temperature inside the part, you can use slices or sections to view the original voxel mesh. The last important update is the addition of a simulation job queue. Therefore, you can make full use of local workstation resources without having to wait for one simulation task to complete before proceeding to the next task. The last two updates of the support and the base plate really show the maturity of Magics. The transfer support allows you to quickly apply a well-designed support to another part to achieve the fewest contact points, the best surface quality and structural strength. Although this sounds weird, in quite a few cases, users may be preparing data for a series of very similar parts. The same support structure can be applied to these parts, and only minor adjustments are required at most. If you use the traditional method, you need to perform these operations manually. Moreover, the transfer support will also remove the unnecessary support on the new part and add additional support where needed.
The new function of Magics 24 can help you transfer the support of one part to another completely. This function, which will be discussed at last, reminds us of the reason why Magics exists. Because of its powerful STL file repair capabilities, Magics quickly gained a reputation in the early days, because it provides SLA printers with more and more powerful functions than the software that comes with the device. In other words, Magics gives users real control over the support structure and ensures that the machine can manufacture parts exactly as required. Although Materialise has greatly expanded its business scope over the years, this is still the core of its products and capabilities. Therefore, we are very happy to see an update on the substrate. For photo-curing technology that directly prints parts on a substrate, especially for parts that are printed upside down, tools to improve the substrate are very useful. Now, you can improve the shape of the substrate, such as adding raised edges and small chamfers, etc., which will help you remove the part from the substrate more easily. Summary As we enter an era where more and more companies start to learn, try and apply additive manufacturing, these companies obviously need a new set of tools to deal with the 3D Printing process. Interestingly, although a large number of new technologies have emerged in the field of design for additive manufacturing, when it comes to data preparation for additive manufacturing, the most mature, powerful and complete solutions have been introduced to the market. Ten years. Going back to what we mentioned at the beginning of this review, although there are many new CAD tools on the market, for additive manufacturing CAM software, what users need are tools that have been tested and evolved over the years. As one of Europe’s largest additive manufacturing service providers, and also has an excellent software development team, Materialise’s real advantage lies in this.
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