Simufact Engineering GmbH, a MSC Software company based in Hamburg, Germany, has announced the launch of Simufact Additive, a new software solution for the simulation of metal Additive Manufacturing processes.
Simufact Additive is said to be a powerful and scalable process simulation environment for ‘right first time’ optimisation of laser powder bed fusion processes. Features include simulation of all the key AM process steps starting with ‘printing’ of the part followed by heat treatment, cutting the part off the build plate and removal of support structures, plus heat and pressure combined processes.
The company stated that initial release of Simufact Additive will predict the final distortion and residual stresses of the metal parts. The modelling is carried out using CAD data in an innovative graphical user interface (GUI) environment aligned with the real process work flow.
Simufact Additive offers an intuitive approach which starts with defining the general process by determining the part and support components. It continues through to definition of manufacturing parameters up to the analysis settings and ultimate results. The software helps to compensate the distortion, minimize residual stresses and optimise the process parameters.
“Today, companies employing AM technology for printing metal parts have to cope with failure in their production processes and the high knock on costs associated with this,” stated Michael Wohlmuth, Simufact`s CEO. “Simufact Additive is an important tool which will help these companies get it ‘right first time’, by regularly running simulations prior to production.”
The concept behind the software is that it lays the foundation for a wide variability and scalability through different levels of details. This includes both a fast mechanical method for the prediction of distortion and residual stresses up to a fully thermo-mechanically coupled transient analysis. This will determine the temperature history and derived properties such as the microstructure. The properties of the final part are available for subsequent structural simulations.
Simufact stated that Renishaw plc is the first AM machine vendor to collaborate with the company. The aim is a fully simulation based optimisation leading to the best quality build file. Initially, Renishaw’s QuantAM build preparation software will be coupled with Simufact process simulation software and enable data exchange using QuantAM’s open API (application programming interface). The next step is to automatically set-up a simulation based on the build information and in return to display the simulation results in Renishaw’s QuantAM build preparation software. The first results of this collaboration will be published and showcased at Formnext 2016, November 15-18, Frankfurt, Germany.