nTopology is one of a very few independent generative design software firms; I know of just one other. Some of the others were last year snapped up by large CAD vendors: Frustum by PTC and AMendate by Hexagon. When I interviewed CEO Bradley Rothenberg last year, he maintained he wants his company to remain independent. This makes sense in terms of making the software available broadly. When a CAD vendor buys, say Frustrum, only PTC users from now on can access it.
What is unique about nTopology is that they wrote their own kernel, which models 3D parts in a manner different from nearly all other kernels. It defines precise boundaries of objects, and so allows their software to create unbreakable parts: "We don't worry about any modeling operations." This figure show the difference between in the mathematics between most other kernels (at left) and how nTopology does it:
The software that runs on top of the kernel is called nTop. Here's at what the user interface looks like today. The ruler at the bottom can be dragged to get an idea of the size of the model and its parts.
New in nTop
Models can be exported in STEP format as b-reps (boundary representations) for further editing in CAD software. Also new is 3MF, which exports models as meshes and lattices. nTopology recommends you use 3MF for CAD, as the data files are 3x smaller and more detail is exported.
To define parts, nTop now handles the following parameters:
- point constraints
- stress loads
- displacement restraints
- bearing loads (see figure below)
- constraint charts
Coming to a future release of nTop is parameterized lattice structures, driven by thermal and other variables. Here is a view of the upcoming parametric-driven capability:
nTop now supports multi-threading, using as many cores as the CPU sports. nTop does not (yet) support two or more materials in a single model.