Engineering software developer nTopology is currently working on a whole host of new developments for its topology optimization platform.
Released in 2019, the company’s software bridges simulation and generative design, allowing users to create complex parts optimized for additive manufacturing processes. As such, the platform embodies the principles of Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), circumventing the geometric limitations of today’s conventional engineering design tools.
nTopology’s innovations are used to solve some of the toughest engineering challenges in the industry, including lightweighting, thermal management, mass customization, architected materials, manufacturing and tooling.
Following the recent launch of third-generation lattice technology, the company is developing several upcoming design tools, such as field-driven lattice optimization capabilities, custom graph unit cells, and more.
“We are excited to launch the latest generation of our lattice technology, which will continue to fundamentally change the way engineers approach design for additive manufacturing,” said Trevor Laughlin, vice president of product at nTopology. “This new technology will enable industry-first advancements, such as field-driven optimization, where software automatically designs lattice structures for user-defined goals and constraints. Ultimately, this will allow our customers to use the AM design space more efficiently, resulting in innovative applications faster than ever before. »
A leader in technical design
Founded in 2015, nTopology has established itself as one of the major players in generative design. The company’s advanced algorithms are trusted and operated by a wide variety of manufacturing companies, including Ford, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell.
To complement its part design capabilities, nTopology offers multiple paths to augment a company’s existing software stack. This includes integrations with PLM systems and external design analysis and simulation platforms, as well as the export of design data in formats compatible with traditional CAD or even the direct export of cutting data. 3D printing.
It is also equipped with a command-line interface that allows users to run nTopology workflows via scripts in a programmatic environment, automating and scaling design processes for mass customization applications. .
nTopology’s growth over the past three years has been aided by a number of funding rounds, as nTopology raised $40 million in Series C in 2020, along with an additional $65 million at year-end. last.
The company has since partnered with 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys to develop the FDM Fixture Generator, an automation tool to streamline the design of jigs, fixtures and other tools.
The road ahead for nTopology
As evidenced by its milestones so far, the company is continuously developing updates and upgrades for its generative design platform.
More recently, nTopology launched its third-generation lattice design tools, intended to provide customers with a quick and easy way to generate complex 3D printable lattice structures. The upgrade involved dividing the network generation process into three individual steps, giving users control over every aspect of the network design: selecting a unit cell, defining the cell map, and adjusting network parameters. .
One of the main performance benefits was generating a network with over 50,000 unit cells which took up to 60 seconds, but it can now be built in near real time.
In addition to introducing the new features, the release established a base architecture for creating several new tracking optimization tools.
Future field-driven optimization capability will allow customers to automatically optimize their truss structures for specific engineering requirements, including target stiffnesses or weights. Users will also be able to sketch their own custom chart unit cells if the type of unit cell they need is not already covered in nTopology.
Finally, the team is working to extend the platform’s compliant network generation capabilities to complement the technology’s existing tools. Thus, customers will soon have the ability to design network cell maps that follow the shape of any organic surface or volume.
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The featured image shows the third generation lattice technology in action. Image via nTopology.