Additive Manufacturing Solutions - Process Simulations

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a method of manufacturing parts typically from powder or wire using a layer by layer approach. Interest in metal based additive manufacturing processes has taken off in the past few years. The three-major metal additive manufacturing processes in use today are powder bed fusion (PBF), direct energy deposition (DED) and binder jetting processes. FLOW-3D provides unique simulation insights for each of these processes.

In powder bed fusion and direct energy deposition processes either a laser or an electron beam can be used as a heat source. In both cases, metal, in the form of powder for PBF and either powder or wire for DED processes, is completely melted and fused together to form parts layer by layer. In binder jetting, however, a resin acting as a binding agent is selectively deposited on metal powders to form parts layer by layer. These parts are then sintered to achieve better densification.

FLOW-3D’s free surface tracking algorithm and its multiphysics models can simulate each of these processes with high accuracy. The steps in modeling laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) processes are discussed in detail here. A couple of proof-of-concept simulations for the DED and binder jetting processes are also shown.

Optimizing AM Part Testing

Verifying Additive Manufactured (AM) Parts from 3D CT Scans

Additive Manufacturing (AM) enables optimized parts to be created, for example

with lattices that save weight. Finite element analysis (FEA) is valuable for simulating

the performance of parts at the design stage.  After manufacture, scanning

components allows inspection of defects.  However, while many manufacturers

and designers use some of these methods, they typically lack a straightforward

workflow to combine all of them and close important gaps in production.