Introduction

Additive Manufacturing [AM] is transforming industrial manufacturing, introducing new dynamics to component fabrication and is disrupting the current order of modern production. This emerging technology is providing designers, builders, hobbyists, and others with the unprecedented capacity to explore part complexity, material variety, build speed, remote fabrication and cost savings. Yet for all its fanfare, there is an Achilles heel to additive manufacturing and that vulnerability is part quality. AM struggles to produce qualified parts that meet specifications and lacks a clear methodology for certifying printed parts due to variability in machines and machine processes, as noted in Figure 1. Currently, AM is dependent on trial and error methods to produce to desired parts. This approach is risky, costly and ultimately unsustainable.

Where Does Advanced Simulation Come Into Play?

Fortunately, there is a solution. Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) based Advanced Simulation Technology provides a mechanism by which the AM process may be virtually examined, corrected and qualified all before the commitment of time, material resources, and personnel to a build.

The overall process is straightforward. The analysis starts with the development of a detailed, virtual material model that captures temperature-related material and mechanical properties for a material system associated with the AM build. Next, unique print parameters and other critical build information are extracted from the G-code. Finally, the combined information is fed into a multi-scale, multi-physics ICME toolset to
simulate the layer by layer AM fabrication including time and temperature-dependent phases of the build. In this manner, the ICME toolset can predict damage initiation, damage propagation (i.e. voids, Figure 1. AM metal parts may exhibit print-generated local defects 3 Reasons to Use: Advanced Simulation for Additive Manufacturing delamination, cracks) during the build which contributes to build failure, netshape/distortion concerns and poor performance.

Here are 3 clear reasons how using AM simulation can be beneficial:

1) provides the mechanism to virtually recreate, the AM build and accurately predict the generation of manufacturing anomalies, defects, deflections and voids associated with the build.
2) predicts the effect of defects in terms of damage initiation and damage propagation during the build process.
3) predicts the consequences of phenomena such as distortion/netshape, surface roughness, delamination, and residual stress

What is GENOA 3DP? How Can It Help Me?

GENOA 3DP is an ICME software suite aimed at linking the material properties, the additive processing parameters, and the shape geometry in a way that can predict microstructure and properties. Users can take the information gained from the software to virtually guide and direct the fabrication of quality parts. GENOA 3DP’s modules are designed to give insight into material modeling, print error management, heat-affected zones, and build sensitivities. With the ability to tweak every major variable affecting an AM build, the tool can minimize the amount of experimentation by combining AM process simulation and Design of Experiment, virtual prediction of melt-pool size and shape, and giving a process stability map (laser power vs speed vs max temperature) in order to minimize failed builds..

GENOA 3DP:

  • relies upon a detailed material model, which considers the effect of defects while characterizing/qualifying “as built” material behavior that has been validated against the test.
  • utilizes nano-mechanics, micro-mechanics, meso-mechanics, and macro-mechanics to recognize damage and fracture evolution as related to thermal-structural phenomena.
  • combines the material model, the build process model, nano-mechanics, micro-mechanics, meso- mechanics and macro-mechanics to recognize damage initiation and damage evolution as related to thermal structural phenomena.

The proper application of GENOA 3DP involves utilization of the “building block approach”, which calls for the analysis and validation of behavior related to coupons, coins, sub-elements, and basic elements before addressing complex build behaviors associated with the virtual fabrication of complex parts. Table 1 provides a table for AlphaSTAR’s ten-point qualification process that corresponds to the just referenced building block approach.

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