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Additive Manufacturing and HOOPS SDKs: Three Applications Fueling Innovation in 3D Printing Software

By Robert Beyer • 
March 13th, 2023

Additive manufacturing and 3D printing have no shortage of innovative technologies, whether it’s hardware becoming more efficient and accurate or the vast advancements in material science, broadening the scope of how 3D printed parts can be utilized. However, as a software component provider, it only makes sense that we focus on the piece of the puzzle that brings these two elements together, the software platforms that drive our modern printers and enable the use of advanced materials.

With over 26 years of experience developing engineering-specific SDKs, Tech Soft 3D has seen the 3D printing space grow from its infancy to its now widely adopted state. From prototyping to production, the HOOPS and Polygonica toolkits have provided independent software vendors with core functionality for additive workflows, such as access to 3D CAD file formats, native and web-based visualization, automatic healing, mesh generation, offsetting, Boolean operations, and more. Below we’ll highlight several of our partners and their applications that have played an integral role in advancing the 3D printing landscape.  

Stratasys – GrabCAD Print

Stratasys, a widely recognized name in the additive space, provides a complete polymer 3D printing solution for the design, manufacturing, and healthcare markets. Their software platform, GrabCAD Print, provides end-users with considerable functionality such as print preparation (orientation, optimization, support generation), multi-printer control, and CAD file format agnosticism. Stratasys describes GrabCAD Print as an application that “simplifies the traditional 3D print preparation workflow and provides intelligence around printer usage so your team can get quality prints, faster”. 

By utilizing the HOOPS Exchange SDK for CAD data translation, GrabCAD’s developers have allowed their end users to print directly from their preferred CAD file formats (Creo, SOLIDWORKS, NX, Catia, Inventor), no longer being solely reliant on converting STL files though they are still supported. 

You can learn more about the functionality and support that GrabCAD Print provides here

Desktop Metal  - Live Parts 

Another company that needs no introduction is Desktop Metal. Originally supporting 3D metal and carbon fiber printing, Desktop Metal has evolved its offering over the years to support healthcare markets, industrial-grade polymer solutions, and industrial sand printing solutions. With the launch of its Live Parts application in 2018, Desktop Metal embraced the aspect of generative design, providing users with functionality for rapid design exploration, with the capacity to quickly iterate on designs by adjusting model parameters and seeing geometry respond in real-time. 

The Live Parts development team utilized HOOPS Exchange for CAD data access and Polygonica for healing, simplifying, and slicing models. 

You can learn more about Desktop Metal and all its offerings including Live Parts here

Xometry – Instant Quoting Engine

Xometry, officially launched in 2014, has been redefining custom manufacturing through its software platform that offers on-demand manufacturing to a diverse customer base, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. The Xometry Instant Quoting Engine powers the platform allowing customers to upload 3D models of their parts and then instantly analyze the part’s geometry and properties and return cost, expected lead time, and manufacturability feedback.

3D CAD data conversion and web visualization play an important role in Xometry’s workflows, providing users the ability to upload CAD files from their preferred systems and delivering a clear visual representation of their custom parts.  

Learn more about how Xometry is connecting creators with manufacturers here.  

To learn more about building a new additive manufacturing application or adding additional functionality to an existing one, visit us at

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