complex CAD model breakdown

Developing complex products in CAD (computer-aided design) with a distributed team can be a challenging task. However, with Creo Parametric’s Advanced Assembly Extension [AAX], managing distributed development becomes a seamless process even on a global scale.

This powerful extension facilitates and automates the exploration of product assembly variations and adds intelligence to your CAD design assembly so it reacts correctly in any situation.

Clearly Defining and Communicating Complex Design Intent

To kickstart any complex design project within CAD, it is vital to have a clearly defined source of design intent. This serves as the backbone of the development process and enables smooth collaboration among team members.

Furthermore, Creo Parametric AAX has tools for creating and managing space claims, assembly interfaces, and location points. These features help define design intent and make sharing information easy. With a clear and structured design intent, it becomes much easier for team members to understand their tasks and contribute effectively.

top level assembly

Distribution and Communication of Design Intent

Once the design intent is defined, the next crucial step is to distribute and communicate this intent to team members efficiently. Creo Parametric AAX allows team members to focus on their relevant tasks by providing options to copy relevant geometry or use published geometry in their subsystem. This ensures that each team member can work on what’s relevant to their task without any confusion or delays.

Controlling Inter-Dependencies

Intelligent inter-dependency management within a complex product design is essential to ensure flexibility and adaptability. Advanced Assembly offers powerful tools to create and track desired interdependencies, preventing the creation of unwanted relationships that can hinder design flexibility.

By allowing users to control inter-dependencies effectively, teams can confidently make changes and reuse design components while maintaining the integrity of the complex product.

Leave No Rock Unturned with Complex Designs

The path to innovation often involves exploring multiple iterations and variations of a design. This Creo extension empowers designers to leave no stone unturned by offering efficient tools to create and manage assembly variations.

Families of Assembly Designs

Creating new assemblies for minor variations or component substitutions can be time-consuming and unnecessary. Creo Parametric AAX simplifies this process by allowing designers to define variations in assembly dimensions or switch out components without the need for separate assemblies.

By identifying what differs from the original design, designers can switch family instances of component family tables or subassembly family tables effortlessly, with automation taking care of the rest.

Interchange Parts and Assemblies

The ability to interchange functionally equivalent components is a valuable feature when exploring design variations. This CAD extension enables designers to relate independent components, making it easy to switch them within an assembly. Additionally, simplified exchange members can be substituted into a design to streamline the display while retaining accurate mass property information.

Raising the IQ of your Complex Design

Dealing with constant change is a fundamental aspect of design. Creo Parametric AAX allows designers to enhance their complex models with intelligent logic, automating component sizing based on calculations or user input.

This intelligence extends to switching out components or subassemblies automatically for Family Table or Interchange instances when specific conditions are met. By raising the IQ of your design, you can navigate design changes faster and more efficiently.

How to Put it Together or Take it Apart

Ensuring smooth communication of assembly procedures is crucial for efficient manufacturing and engineering processes. This extension for complex designs offers intuitive process planning functionality to disseminate process information effectively throughout the organization.

Easily Create Assembly Process Sequences

With user-friendly tools, users can define assembly processes step by step. With intuitive drag-and-drop techniques, exploded views, and jogged explode offset lines, AAX provides a clear and accurate representation of each process step, making it easy for all stakeholders to understand the assembly process.

skeleton model and the main frame of the mower.

Create Alternate Bills of Materials (BOMs)

Creo Parametric AAX empowers users to create alternative BOMs that reflect specific assembly stages or grouping of design components based on the assembly process. These alternative BOMs, such as manufactured BOMs or fabrication BOMs, enable clear communication of the assembly process and facilitate efficient manufacturing operations.

Creo Parametric Advanced Assembly Extension [AAX] offers a comprehensive suite of tools and functionalities to manage the distributed development of complex designs.

From clearly defining and communicating design intent to exploring design variations and enhancing design intelligence, AAX ensures that no aspect of the design process goes untouched. By leveraging this extension, design teams can collaborate effectively, respond to changes efficiently, and create flexible and reusable complex products

BioMed Resins Blog Image

Formlabs introduced two new elastomeric and biocompatible resins. The BioMed Flex 80A Resin and BioMed Elastic 50A Resin seamlessly blend flexibility with essential biocompatibility certifications that cater to a growing demand of specific requirements. Open the door to new applications in healthcare and manufacturing with Formlabs’ new biocompatible, flexible resins.


Why Medical Grade Materials Matter

Creating end-use flexible parts has posed significant cost challenges. These parts can include customized devices, patient-specific surgical models, and short-term wearable or skin-contact devices. Furthermore, many companies have been constrained to offering standardized options.

Several hospital researchers utilize flexible materials that are not biocompatible for training and educational purposes. However the problem is that they are unable to employ them in the operating room (O.R.) where hands-on learning is critical.

Implementing a flexible and biocompatible 3D printing workflow enables hospitals and medical service companies to incorporate these models into the O.R. and expand their array of producible parts. Additionally, this advancement enhances the quality of patient care and ensures incredible cost savings for providers. 


Meet the Trifecta: Flexibility, Transparency, and Biocompatibility

In the realm of producing biocompatible rigid components, numerous companies have discovered that 3D printing can offer a cost-effective production solution. However, when it comes to elastomeric parts, it has not proven viable. This is in part due to the limited availability of materials meeting the necessary shore hardness, elongation at break, and strict biocompatibility criteria.

Although previous materials like Formlabs Elastic 50A Resin and Flexible 80A Resin have been great for prototyping, tightly regulated workflows might have been holding you back. Traditionally, professionals within these sectors typically had to depend on cumbersome multi-step silicone molding procedures. This workflow is both labor intensive and very messy.

Alternatively, they had to resort to costly outsourcing with contract manufacturers. Now our customers can do more.

Biocompatibility approvals for long-term skin, and short-term mucosal contact opens doors to innovative workflows. Additionally, it allows for short production cycles, personalized wearables, and beyond. Both materials are ISO 10993 and USP Class VI tested, and produced in a Formlabs ISO 13485 certified facility, so you can print with confidence.


BioMed Flex 80A

Now, the BioMed Flex 80A resin streamlines workflows. Essentially select the STL file and print.

BioMed Flex 80A is the firmest flexible material in the Formlabs family of BioMed resins. Choose BioMed Flex 80A Resin to directly print patient-specific medical devices requiring flexibility. Additionally, it is great for firm tissue models that surgeons can reference in the O.R.

BioMed Flex 80A Resin has a Shore hardness (the measured hardness of a cured material) of 80A and elongation of 120% at break. This means that the printed parts will return to their original shape after deformation. Doing so allows the manipulation of the part during study or testing.

These parts can be used for flexible components on devices and patient-specific instruments such as short-term mucosal membrane tubes that can be customized to the patient’s anatomy. For surgeons, anatomical models that more closely resemble firm tissue can be brought into the O.R. for study and reference during a procedure. Accordingly, this been shown to improve outcomes and shorten patient recovery time. 

Furthermore, BioMed Flex 80A is ISO 10993 and USP Class VI certified material is produced in an FDA-registered, ISO 13485 facility and can be used in applications requiring long-term skin contact or short-term mucosal membrane contact.

Ultimate Tensile Strength

7.2 MPa


Tear Strength

22 kN/m


BioMed Flex 80A Resin Biocomps

Long-term skin (>30 days), short-term mucosal membrane contact(< 24 hours), and USP Class VI certifications.


Printer Compatibility

The BioMed Flex 80A resin is compatible with Formlabs’ Form 3B, Form 3B+, and Form 3BL. If you have an “early” Form 3 printer-  please contact us to check compatibility.


Curing Best Practices

First, place the part in a glass beaker that fits the part. Then, make sure the part is fully covered by the water. Formlabs says that tap water does work and any water on hand should be fine.


BioMed Elastic 50A Resin

BioMed Elastic 50A Resin is the softest elastomeric material in the Formlabs biocompatible family of BioMed resins. Before, customers were using silicone molds or using Elastic 50A Resin. However, the Elastic 50A Resin has no bio comp, and creating silicone mold processings and parts is cumbersome and time-consuming. Now, with BioMed Elastic 50A Resin, you can easily print flexible parts.

As a result, it is empowering healthcare professionals and medical device engineers with new design possibilities and efficiencies.

Customers can choose BioMed Elastic 50A Resin to directly print patient-specific medical devices with enhanced comfort or soft tissue models surgeons can reference in the O.R. By directly printing devices or models, BioMed Elastic 50A Resin eliminates labor time and cost.

The resin is equipped with a shore hardness of 50A and 150% elongation at break, meaning the parts can be easily bent, manipulated, and compressed, enabling components such as gaskets and seals or thin, flexible enclosures for medical device companies.

BioMed Resins 50A Blog Image

BioMed Elastic 50A Resin’s transparent properties mean that tube-like parts can show fluid moving through them. So customized, biocompatible fluidic devices can be manufactured cost-effectively in medical settings. 

BioMed Elastic 50A is ISO 10993 and USP Class VI certified material is produced in an FDA-registered, ISO 13485 facility. And it can be used in applications requiring long-term skin contact or short-term mucosal membrane contact. 


Ultimate Tensile Strength

2.3 MPa

Tear Strength

11 kN/m


BioMed Elastic 50A Biocomps

Long-term skin (>30 days), short-term mucosal membrane contact(< 24 hours), and USP Class VI certifications.


Printer Compatibility

BioMed Elastic 50A works with the Formlabs Form 3B printer, the Form 3B+, and the Form 3BL too. If you have an “early” Form 3 printer-  please contact us to check compatibility.


Helping Medical Device Manufacturers and Healthcare Professionals Succeed

In conclusion, ​​adapting to evolving needs using Formlabs Medical 3D printers and biocompatible resins in-house is easier than ever before. The lack of flexible and biocompatible material choices has limited the use of 3D printing within hospitals and medical service bureaus, despite the considerable advantages 3D printing offers.

With the growing options of biocompatible materials from Formlabs, combining 3D printing into a broader range of workflows and applications is now possible. In fact, this improves patient care, and saves money. And lastly, it broadens the scope of possibilities.

Whether it’s research and development, production tooling, or creating biocompatible end-use parts, harness the power of 3D printing to introduce advanced, custom patient devices to the market.


Order a free sample from us or talk to an Additive Manufacturing Specialist to order your resin today.