French AM company AddUp and ESI Group, a virtual prototyping software firm, are deepening their existing partnership with the joint development of a new ergonomic simulation module for metal 3D printing. The program, called Distortion Simulation AddOn, will be released in spring 2019 and will offer a range of enhanced functionalities for AddUp Manager users.
Presently, AddUp Manager functions as a design and management software for the additive manufacturing process. With the upcoming launch of the Distortion Simulation AddOn, users will be able to leverage simulation tools based on material physics to improve their production workflows significantly and drive industrialization.
AM simulation is increasingly becoming a necessary step in the industrial 3D printing process, as it enables manufacturers to maximize production times by gaining insight into the success or failure of a part before it is printed. Simulation tools for AM typically take into account material properties, part design and printer settings.
The goal with the Distortion Simulation AddOn is to bring simulation into the preparatory stages of AM and, consequently, to make the AM process more streamlined. According to the partners, the new software tool will be integrated into AddUp Manager, making all pre-printing steps, like slicing, laser scan path generation, laser melting pattern definition and simulation easy for users.
“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, 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 software’s simulation process is reportedly based on a series of “simple, guided steps,” which can be configured and customized in terms of the level of detail. The software considers 3D parts (including their physical characteristics, displacements, strains and residual stresses) and correlates its findings with the feasibility criteria calculated upstream of production.
More than just identifying potential problem areas in a print, the software generates a modified geometry based on predicted deformations. Overall, the simulation tools to be integrated into AddUp Manager will ensure geometrically compliant production.
Vincent Chaillou, COO of ESI Group, said of the collaboration: “The complementary nature of our teams and our fields of expertise, backed up by our collaboration in the SOFIA project, has enabled us to develop an industrial solution that delivers performance, predictability and competitiveness while continuing to implement innovative production methods such as additive manufacturing.”