Simulate 3D Printing Deformations and the Influence of the Base Plate
Shawn Wasserman posted on November 14, 2017 |
Simufact Additive helps engineers simulate their metal-based additive manufacturing.
The effective stress in a 3D-printed manifold after it is cut from a base plate. (Image courtesy of MSC Software.)

The effective stress in a 3D-printed manifold after it is cut from a base plate. (Image courtesy of MSC Software.)

The latest release of Simufact Additive is now available thanks to the team at MSC Software. The new additive manufacturing simulation software has seen a series of thermal, multi-part printing and base-plate assessment improvements.

This new thermo-mechanical method assesses thermal energy and component temperatures layer-by-layer as the product is printed.

This thermal information can then be processed to determine base plate deformations, thermal peak loads and other heat related behavior.

One benefit of the thermo-mechanical method is that it doesn’t require any calibration as the method will account for parameters and software that define the printer being assessed.

MSC reports that the new thermo-mechanical method accounts for more physical parameters and boundary conditions than its inherent-strain method. Some of these parameters include:

  • Laser power
  • Laser speed
  • Pre-set temperatures

Another highlight of the release is that Simufact can now account for how the base plate will affect the printed product. During the printing process the base plate will distort and stress due to thermal gradients in the print. This means that each pass can affect and distort support material and the print itself.

Furthermore, the distortions in the baseplate do not go away after each print. This means that every subsequent print will be affected by the one before it.

Now that these distortions can be simulated with Simufact, engineers can better account for them during design. The engineer can also better assess when it’s time to get a new baseplate or perform maintenance on a current one.

The next improvement to Simufact deals with speeding up the metal additive manufacturing process. 3D printing is slow, so many engineers will opt to print multiple parts at the same time to save money and time. Unfortunately, these multiple parts can affect each other during the printing process.

Using a new multi-part best-fit method, powered by Hexagon’s 3D Reshaper technology, engineers can determine the best positioning for each part during the printing process. This method will help optimize the deviations caused during the multi-part print. This will be a key addition to those printing parts that need to meet tight tolerances.

As a final bonus, Linux users can now join the Simufact Additive fold thanks to the addition of a Linux solver. This will be quite useful for anyone looking to use a Linux cluster to crunch numbers.

For more on Simufact, read: Nonlinear Forming & Welding Simulation Brings “As Manufactured” Data to MSC.

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