After running several optimisation scenarios and choosing the final design of a part, the manufacturing process can be simulated with Simufact Additive. For this the Print-Geometry with all Machining Allowances should be used. Simufact Additive is capable of simulating the selective laser melting process as well as the binder jetting process for metals. The process simulation can provide information regarding the distortion, temperature or any manufacturing issues like a recoater contact.
Furthermore, a distortion compensation can be done. This results in a pre-compensated geometry which should be used for the manufacturing. This geometry takes all deformations during the manufacturing process into consideration to create a suitable geometry with less distortion to fulfil the tolerances of shape and position.
In the following the Part Consolidation example is used for the selective laser melting process simulation.
With Simufact Additive the final design can be imported as a STL-file or a NURBS-Geometry. Custom machines can be set up or one machine and setting can be chosen from a large selection of all well-known machine manufacturers.
The part can be oriented freely in the building space. Moreover, the orientation assistant can be used to find a suitable direction. Especially, for generative designed parts the orientation assistant can help to find the best building position regarding self-determined criteria which are not immediately recognizable by sight.
In this case the best position is determined regarding support area, support volume and build risk. With the 3D ball in the upper left corner, the position can be varied nearly seamlessly.
In Simufact Additive support structures can be created automatically or already created ones can be imported.
From the Simufact Material library default materials can be chosen or new materials can be defined. In this case AlSi10Mg alloy is selected.
In the next step the manufacturing and optimisation stages can be set up. The distortion compensation can be activated. After the first run through a pre-distorted shape will be analysed. If this shape fits the conditions (e.g. max. 0.2 mm distortion) the final print-shape is determined.
The stages of the building process can be set. In this stage the cutting from the baseplate and the support removal settings can be set which also have a big impact on the manufactured part.
The last step before starting the simulation is to create the voxel mesh which is used for the FE-Analysis. The FE-Analysis can also be influenced with various parameters.
During the process simulation every voxel layer and every manufacturing step is displayed. After finishing the simulation several results are visualised. In the picture below the surface deviation between the initial shape (Norm-Geometry) and the simulated, distorted part is shown.
When the initial shape would be manufactured, a distortion of around 1 mm can be expected. Simufact Additive creates a pre-compensated geometry and runs once again the manufacturing simulation.
The pre-compensated geometry would result in a maximum distortion of 0.16 mm.
This is just an example workflow how a process simulation can be done. For more information regarding Simufact Additive please contact the Simufact Additive Team.