Get to Know Flow: Unleashing the Power of Velo3D’s Print Preparation Software

by | August 10, 2023 | Blog

In the world of metal 3D printing, Velo3D’s powerful yet intuitive Flow software is redefining what it means to harness the power of a fully integrated metal additive manufacturing solution.

A print preparation software that prescribes the manufacturing process for the Sapphire family of metal 3D printers, Flow eliminates the need for creating new part-specific parameters. This software significantly saves time, potentially months of development, while reducing the need for specialized technicians.

Flow’s Unique Capabilities

Let’s take a deep dive into the world of Flow and discover how it’s revolutionizing the 3D printing landscape.

Flow’s functionality allows engineers to analyze their parts and apply the perfect solution for each feature. Flow’s user-selectable core parameter sets offer enhanced control over builds, with the unique ability to assign different core instructions to parts within the same build.

Flow animation of choke valve trim printed on a Velo3D Sapphire metal AM printer for IMI Critical Engineering

In combination with its capabilities to apply skin and contour overrides, Flow puts you in the driver’s seat, allowing for increased control over the final material properties of the printed parts.

Native CAD Support for a Streamlined Workflow

Flow simplifies your workflow by allowing the easy import of native CAD models, doing away with the need to convert them into the labor-intensive STL mesh file formats. This contributes to better process control and consistent outcomes. Additionally, Flow enables straightforward manipulation of the part file for support, orientation, layout, and adding labels or serial numbers to the part.

Controlled Parameters for Reliable Results

Armed with preloaded controlled parameter sets, Flow gives users the freedom to print even the most complex engineering designs without the need for feature-based parameter development. It assigns different core instructions to parts within the same build, ensuring greater control and helping users hit their target material properties.

But why is this important? The ability to eliminate the need to create new part-specific parameters for each print offers a multitude of benefits to engineers:

  1. Saves Time: Creating new parameters for each part is a complex and time-consuming process. It often involves considerable trial and error and adjustment to ensure optimal print conditions. By using pre-set parameters, Flow software significantly reduces the time spent on preparing each print, thus increasing productivity.
  2. Consistency and Quality Control: With part-specific parameters, there’s a risk of variation between prints. By using standardized parameters, engineers can ensure consistent print quality across multiple parts and production runs.
  3. Reduces Complexity: The development of part-specific parameters requires a deep understanding of the materials used, the printing process, and how these elements interact. This complexity can be a barrier for engineers who are new to 3D printing or who want to focus on the design rather than the manufacturing process. Flow software simplifies the process, making 3D printing more accessible.
  4. Cost Efficiency: The time and effort spent developing specific parameters for each part equate to higher costs. By eliminating this need, Flow reduces costs and improves the overall efficiency of the 3D printing process.
  5. Scalability: If an engineer needs to print many instances of the same part, having to redefine parameters for each one could quickly become a roadblock to mass production. With Flow’s pre-set parameters, scalability becomes a much more manageable endeavor.

In essence, the elimination of creating new part-specific parameters for each print streamlines the process, making it more efficient, cost-effective, and consistent. It enables engineers to focus more on designing and innovating, rather than getting caught up in the complexities of the printing process.

Quicker Processing for Multi-Part Prints

Flow provides a quick and efficient method to calculate build times for various part quantities. Once a part has been prepared for print, users can adjust the part quantity and see updated build times. This feature offers valuable insights into the economics of scaled production.

Download our whitepaper to learn how Velo3D’s fully integrated manufacturing technology can help scale your supply chain.

Creating a Velo3D “Golden” Print File

Flow lets you utilize a digital inventory, where qualified parts have a secure, unmodifiable, digital print file (the “Golden” print file). This can be transmitted to any Velo3D-enabled global print facility and recreated to match the original specifications. This includes Velo3D’s growing list of qualified contract manufacturing partners.

Velo3D Golden Print File

Know Before You ‘Press Go’ with Inspector

Flow’s Inspector offers an in-depth understanding of the process before a print starts. It is an excellent tool for reviewing laser sequencing and parameter assignment. With detailed information on parameters and laser sequencing, users can see exactly how Flow’s parameter sets are being applied to their part.

With its myriad of functionalities and innovative features, Velo3D’s Flow print preparation software is changing the narrative in the world of 3D printing. For prints big or small, one-off or scaled production, Flow equips you with the tools to ensure consistent and high-quality metal parts.

Speak with a Velo3D engineer to learn more about Flow and our fully integrated metal additive manufacturing solution.

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About the Author

Amir Iliaifar

Director of Content

Amir Iliaifar is the Director of Content at Velo3D where he oversees the production and distribution of Velo3D’s global digital content marketing initiatives. Prior to joining the company, Amir worked for a leading professional drone manufacturer, several SaaS companies, and as an automotive tech journalist. He holds a Master of Arts in Digital Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.