From aerospace, to automotive to medical, over the last few years, additive manufacturing (AM) has emerged to become a truly disruptive technology. While it has pranced around the horizon for some time, recently it has gathered steam with breakthroughs in multiple industrial applications. Owing its ability to turn a computer design into a customized solid object quickly and economically, 3D printing is opening new opportunities for product development with far less material wastage and big cost advantages.
Tapping into the enormous potential this technology offers, AlphaSTAR, a long-standing software company based in Long Beach, CA, has developed innovative physics-based simulation technologies for AM material characterization, process modeling and build optimization. According to Dr. Frank Abdi, a renowned aerospace scientist with extensive knowledge of material science, structural analysis and computational modeling, the company’s forte lies in its ability to dissect and solve the industry’s most complex problems. “We rely on the science of materials to anticipate their behavior,” says Abdi, founder and CTO of AlphaSTAR. “It has helped us stay on top of the game and stay relevant for over 30 years now.”
AlphaSTAR’s unique family of innovative solutions consists of an AM software suite called GENOA 3DP; a structural analysis solution, GENOA MS-PFA; and a material modeling software known as MCQ. GENOA 3DP is AlphaSTAR’s primary AM simulation tool-set that allows designers, engineers and manufacturers to accurately predict and identify the root cause of deformation, residual stress, damage initiation, crack formation and other manufacturing anomalies that arise in the AM build process. “GENOA 3DP now has capabilities to address both Metal & Polymer 3D printing and soon to come Ceramic 3DP” adds Abdi. In an equally impressive manner, GENOA MS-PFA, which is AlphaSTAR’s progressive failure analysis tool, accurately predicts the performance and residual life of advanced composite structures subject to service loads. GENOA MS-PFA not only assesses damage & fracture initiation and evolution, but also determines the durability and damage tolerance of an advanced composite structure, as well as percent damage contribution attributable to a particular failure mechanism.
“One of the biggest challenges in additive manufacturing is the lack of complete understanding surrounding the thermo-structural behavior of advanced materials used in the 3D printing process,” explains Abdi. This is where AlphaSTAR’s material characterization qualification (MCQ) software shines. It provides a detailed understanding of material behavior, by creating virtual material model to consider the effect of defects, while providing battle hardened data coupled with multiscale understanding of failure. “Our products add value to existing solutions and we bridge the gap currently recognized in FEA ,” affirms Abdi. AlphaSTAR products provide solutions that help end-users understand the best way to optimize an AM build, thus eliminating trial and error; but also, utilize virtual analysis and testing to predict build outcomes and build lives, enabling manufacturers to get it right the very first time.
For three decades, AlphaSTAR has helped the aerospace and automotive sectors build better products. These efforts have translated into years of experience and knowledge. Not surprisingly, AlphaSTAR is the recipient of numerous industry and technology awards coming from its peers. Going forward, AlphaSTAR plans to focus on providing innovative solutions that assist customers in overcoming their toughest challenges. “AlphaSTAR’s unique capabilities are ready to address the 3DP market and assist engineers address progressive challenges with confidence” concludes Abdi.
Location: Long Beach, CA
Management: Dr. Frank Abdi, Founder, CEO and CTO
Description: An engineering services and software company that provides innovative physics-based simulation technologies for additive manufacturing, structural modeling, and analysis of advanced composite structures