EOS, Krailling, Germany, a supplier of technology for industrial metal and polymer Additive Manufacturing, has announced that it will partner with Additive Works, Bremen, Germany, to offer Amphyon, its simulation-based AM pre-processing software, to EOS customers. Amphyon helps to predict possible build job challenges and automates a number of pre-processing steps, including build orientation and support generation. This is said to allow companies to optimise their AM build, reducing the risk of flaws in the finished part.
Dr Nils Keller, CEO of Additive Works, explained, “Although the AM technology itself is very mature, especially for unexperienced users it can be difficult to predict if a part will be 3D printed as expected. So when a part is manufactured with issues, e.g. surface defects, it means a waste of machine time and material costs. Using simulation software is standard when it comes to conventional manufacturing methods. With Amphyon, simulation now also becomes a solution for AM, underlining the increased use and changing requirements of industrial 3D printing for serial production.”
For ease of use, Amphyon orients all pre-processing steps using what Additive Works calls the ‘ASAP’ principle (Assessment –Simulation – Adaption – Process). At the assessment step, an examiner module evaluates the geometry of the part and assesses all possible build orientations. Doing this manually can be challenging, as the ideal orientation always depends on the application in terms of build time, support volume, post-processing and part deformation.
At the simulation step, two modules are available: the support module, currently in its beta phase, and the mechanical process simulation module. The support module enables optimised support structures to be generated automatically, adapting to the support perforation as well as the interfaces between part and support based on the calculated process loads. The mechanical process simulation module offers users the ability to simulate process mechanics and calculate distortions. Distortions can then be compensated by exporting and building a ‘pre-deformed’ STL file.
To ensure accurate process simulation for EOS customers, the properties of key materials used on EOS metal AM systems have been integrated into Amphyon. According to the partners, the goal is to calibrate and implement all metal materials from EOS into Amphyon in future.
Martin Steuer, Head of Product Management Software and Services at EOS, stated, “While the vast majority of the public thinks that Additive Manufacturing allows for the creation of three-dimensional objects from a digital design by just clicking a button, users of the technology know that the reality is more complex. United by the mission to make industrial 3D printing even more intuitive and user-friendly, EOS is happy to partner with Additive Works on the subject of AM-process-simulation. ‘Simulate before you create’ really is a key factor to ensure a successful laser sintering process with metal materials, right from the start.”
As part of the partnership, EOS will aid Additive Works in the development of further enhancements for Amphyon, with the goal of integrating the software’s assessment, simulation and support modules into EOSPRINT 2, EOS’s job and process management software.