Engineering firm Renishaw has announced a partnership with simulation expert Simufact with the aim of improving powder-based metal additive manufacturing through simulation and build preparation. Through the collaboration, the companies will integrate Renishaw’s QuantAM build preparation software into Simufact Additive 2020. They will also work to further refine the simulation process for the complex metallurgy of common materials with the goal of improving prediction and compensation of stress and distortion during the print job.
Simufact introduced its new simulation software, Simufact Additive 2020, at Formnext 2019, integrating many new features into the platform, including cost estimation of the build process and improved interoperability with Renishaw systems. Through the recent partnership, Simufact 2020 now also includes an integrated Renishaw QuantAM API for build prep and export. This new tool allows Renishaw customers to achieve error-free data transmission between Simufact Additive and Renishaw machines.
The partners emphasize that the new software integration can also improve productivity by bringing all steps of the workflow—from design to printed part—onto a single software platform. Further, the QuantAM API enables RenAM 500Q quad-laser machine users to conduct multi-laser build prep.
“Simufact Additive 2020 broadens the scope of our build optimisation software and underlines our commitment to openness and interoperability with third party products,” said Dr. Hendrik Schafstall, CEO and Managing Director at Simufact. “With the integration of the QuantAM build processor, we can provide an end-to-end build optimisation process, helping the users of Renishaw systems to produce AM components with repeatable dimensional accuracy right first time.”
Simulation is being understood as an increasingly important step in the additive manufacturing process, as it enables manufacturers to predict the success of parts and achieve higher consistency across builds. Not only are Renishaw and Simufact making it easier for existing customers to utilize simulation software features, but they are also teaming up to improve the simulation process for multi-laser LPBF systems.
Because multi-laser powder bed fusion machines have a faster energy input, printed metal components can often experience higher temperatures than they would using a single-laser system. This can have an influence on the parts’ microstructure, causing residual stress and distortion. By advancing simulation capabilities for multi-laser AM technology to account for this phenomenon, Simufact and Renishaw believe they can improve the build process significantly and compensate the part design to accommodate distortion.
“Our customers are looking to push the performance envelope using the latest multi-laser AM systems, but they also require consistency and precision,” explained Victor Escobar, AM Director – EMEA at Renishaw. “A seamless integration with Simufact’s powerful simulation tools will help manufacturers to develop processes that take full advantage of multi-laser productivity, maximising build rates to make a stronger business case for AM.”