Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, headquartered in Cobham, Surrey, UK, has entered a partnership with Sciaky, Inc, Chicago, Illinois, USA, and a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, Inc., (PSI) to enhance its wire-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology, which it refers to as Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM®) technology, with predictive analysis tools.
Sciaky’s EBAM metal AM machines use high-value materials, such as titanium, tantalum, and nickel-base alloys, to produce parts and structures up to 6 m in length. This award-winning process has produced large-scale parts significantly faster, cheaper and with less waste than traditional manufacturing methods for some of the largest aerospace companies in the world.
Additively manufacturing large parts composed of high-value metals can be difficult because material behaviours are tougher to predict for large geometries. To address this matter, Sciaky’s unique Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System (IRISS®) enables closed-loop control of the EBAM process to eliminate variations and improve its quality and production throughput by sensing and digitally self-adjusting metal deposition in real-time, with precision and repeatability.
To further support EBAM’s closed-loop control, Hexagon’s Simufact solution has been validated to accurately simulate the thermal-mechanical behaviour of the DED process, enabling users to analyse thermal history, stresses, strains, and distortions throughout the process and optimise build setup and process parameters virtually before deposition. As a result, the software reads EBAM’s AM machine trajectories and process parameters directly, reducing the effort required to produce the simulation model. The entire process is streamlined because the G-code is directly compensated within the software.
“Sciaky’s customers demand high quality, high-performance parts,” stated Scott Phillips, president of Sciaky. “Hexagon’s Simufact solution helps increase confidence for our customers to ensure the best quality outcome.”
Jeff Robertson, business development – virtual manufacturing and costing solutions, Hexagon, commented, “Our goal is to deliver process simulation solutions that enable manufacturers to perform predictive analyses for parts faster than the part can be physically built and measured. Not long ago, it took months to complete high-quality simulations for these types of additive processes, but through our collaboration, we now have the ability to make the same accurate predictions in days or hours, so the technology can facilitate the efficient use of Sciaky’s powerful additive capabilities for parts of any size or complexity.”