Materialise Redefines Data and Build Preparation for Metal 3D Printing

March 5, 2024

e-Stage for Metal+ software uses physics-based modeling to advance automated support structure generation for laser powder bed fusion

Leuven, Belgium — March 5, 2024 — Materialise, a global leader in additive manufacturing software, announces e-Stage for Metal+ software and will introduce the solution during the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) show in Chicago, which is taking place from March 10 – 14. The software optimizes data and build preparation for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) systems using physics-based modeling to automate support structure generation and will help make metal additive manufacturing (AM) more economically viable.

LPBF is the leading segment for AM, accounting for over 52% of the industry’s global revenue in 2022.1 It’s also one of the most complex technologies to use, with many potential challenges. According to an independent survey commissioned by Materialise, two main factors holding companies back from adopting 3D printing are a lack of knowledge and the cost associated with the production process. Both challenges play a central role during build preparation for LPBF.

“By automating support structure generation with Materialise’s software, you can streamline your 3D printing process,” says Mirco Schöpf, Product Line Manager Software at EOS. “It simplifies support removal, reduces support volume up to 80%, eases powder extraction, and decreases build plate machining after an effortless part removal. We look forward to exploring e-Stage for Metal+ and discovering additional benefits.”

A metal 3D-printed part with e-Stage for Metal+ support in front of a screen showing the part in e-Stage using the dark mode

e-Stage for Metal+ leverages physics-based modeling to calculate where deformations during the 3D printing process will occur and automatically generates needle-thin and cone supports where needed. Combining the two support types optimizes stability and heat distribution during the 3D printing process, helping to avoid part deformation while reducing post-processing efforts. This removes the compromise between part quality and overall production costs, offering companies a fresh perspective on their complete LPBF process by making it more economically viable and straightforward to adopt.​ Automated tools like e-Stage for Metal+ lower the learning curve, allowing users to connect the software to any machine and quickly optimize support generation.

“Metal AM users tend to overload parts with support structures during manual data preparation,” explains Ian O'Loughlin, Metal Practice Lead at Materialise. “They want to avoid defects and the costs associated with reprinting the parts. That’s why intelligent tools like e-Stage for Metal+ are crucial. Automating support structure generation at the sweet spot of printability and required supports saves time, material, and post-processing costs.”

e-Stage for Metal+ is a module for Magics, Materialise’s leading data and build preparation software and core element of its 3D Print Suite. Magics is a technology-neutral software offering compatibility with nearly all import file formats and connectivity to all major 3D printing technologies. It provides users with advanced control and automation for their workflows.

“We are continuously enhancing our software solutions to support AM users in their daily business,” says Lieve Boeykens, Solution Strategist at Materialise. “Automation can support AM users in bridging knowledge gaps to adopt the technology faster, accelerating return-on-investment, and helping them lower the overall production cost. Materialise’s e-Stage for Metal+ helps companies achieve economic viability.”

To learn more about e-Stage for Metal+ and other software solutions from Materialise, visit booth 8 in salon D at AMUG in Chicago from March 10 – 14.

Pictures are available for download here.

About Materialise

Materialise incorporates more than three decades of 3D printing experience into a range of software solutions and 3D printing services that empower sustainable 3D printing applications. Our open, secure, and flexible end-to-end solutions enable flexible industrial manufacturing and mass personalization in various industries — including healthcare, automotive, aerospace, eyewear, art and design, wearables, and consumer goods. Headquartered in Belgium and with branches worldwide, Materialise combines the largest group of software developers in the industry with one of the world's largest and most complete 3D printing facilities

Materialise press contact

Nils Torke

Twitter: @MaterialiseNV

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