Simplify3D (Cincinnati, Ohio), one of the industry’s most popular 3D printing software tools for optimizing models for printing, has released Version 4.0. The updated software streamlines the 3D printing workflow process and also includes new customization tools. “We’ve always been focused on pushing the limits of what you can accomplish with additive manufacturing,” said Clayton Webster, CEO of Simplify3D. “New features in Version 4.0 will help our customers improve their print quality and unlock new capabilities with their 3D printers.” New features of Version 4.0 include Variable Print Settings, Dynamic Feature Sizing, Improved Model Foundations and a Variable 3D print setting. Its variable setting wizard, for example, combines several functions in one place and can be used for precise control of how a 3D model is printed. By using the wizard, users can easily define how a specific region should be printed. Changing the mechanical properties of a model throughout the build is also possible. Users can add weight in one section while creating another section to be lighter in weight. Version 4.0 also allows for greater control over feature sizing. The software adds new techniques that can adjust the amount of plastic that’s extruded from the nozzle to create smaller or larger extrusions, depending on the shapes printed. Simplify3D said that the greater precision enabled by 4.0 means that 3D prints will be closer to the designer’s original. The improved precision also “closes the gap between FFF/FDM 3D printers and SLA or SLS.”
Optimization of supports, rafts and brims translates into improvements to how these foundational elements are used. The new Simplify3D raft design, for example, permits easy breakaway removal and expands on the breakaway support structures already available in earlier editions of the software. A Version 4.0 raft-construction algorithm uses less filament “often saving 50% of the filament and up to 40% of the print time that would’ve been allocated for the raft using previous methods,” said the OEM. Soluble supports can also be optimized. Version 4.0 allows users to 3D print dissolvable support material only where it’s required. So, rather than printing the entire support (in an often more expensive soluble filament), it’s now possible to print several layers where the support intersects with the model – substantially reducing the amount of PVA, PVB or HIPS needed. Version 4.0 also introduces a new bridging algorithm, improved mesh simplification tools, and new dual extrusion options. Simplify3D is compatible with over 200 3D printers and is a free upgrade for all current Simplify3D customers.