It’s fairly common knowledge that metal printing can be an unpredictable process. So, a fair share of organisations have been looking into solutions, from ambient gas issues to materials. However, Michelin and Fives joint venture company “AddUp” have gone a different route. Their software simulation slices and generates laser scan paths and define laser melt patterns, among other factors. The Distortion Simulation AddOn allows it to produce an early model, thus providing crucial insight into the metal printing process.
“With this simulation technology we can help our customers improve their operational efficiencies and responsiveness by significantly increasing the number of first-time-right parts,” said Vincent Ferreiro, the CEO of AddUp. “Thanks to its accessibility and requiring only a very short learning curve, Distortion Simulation AddOn will appeal to a wide range of users. This tool will help them maximise the potential of our FormUp machines.”
The Distortion Simulation AddOn module boosts functionality for AddUp’s 3D printing design and management software AddUp Manager. The simulation results indicate the physical characteristics of parts along with displacements, strains and residual stresses. It connects all of these with feasibility criteria that it calculates pre-production. As a result, it can anticipate the risks of production downtimes due to collisions with the roller or scraper and it produces a modified geometry at the end of the process.
AddUp’s Metal Print Simulator
Michelin and Fives set up the AddUp joint venture specifically for metal printing related projects. The company has had their hand in DED and powder bed technologies. This simulation software comes after their acquisition of Polyshape, a virtual prototyping pioneer and material physics specialist, and it shows.
The software certainly curbs the unpredictability of the process by being an intuitive pre-simulation. The module provides production continuity by directly integrating simulations in the pre-stages of the process. While this upstream process is ideal for industrial production but it’s also great for beginners. AddUp designed their metal print simulator to be intuitive on multiple scales, while promoting experimentation with forms.
All of this adds up to a series of suggestions and improvements the software makes. The simulation’s improved geometry is even exportable as an .STL file. The company will be releasing the software this spring, and it may be a crucial add-on for customers looking to optimise their production, whether it be large and small scale.
Featured image courtesy of AddUp.