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[Image: CMU Engineering]

By all accounts, the most rapidly growing and disruptive segment in the engineering market has got to be additive manufacturing. Many companies, in multiple fields, are working to add the transformative technology to their workflows, and while many have been successful in their efforts, we’d be remiss if we didn’t note that there are still a lot of issues to overcome, particularly when it comes to 3D printing metal. Because it often involves the use of a laser to optimize its density for various applications, metal 3D printing can be hazardous and tricky – product failure can result from the metal melting in unexpected ways, and stresses from rapid heating and cooling can cause defects and deformation.

Additive manufacturing and engineering simulation software, such as the solutions offered by companies like ANSYS and 3DSIM, can help decrease these risks, and increase the likelihood that you’ll produce lighter, but stronger, metal components. This week, ANSYS, which is headquartered in Pennsylvania and recently released its real-time 3D simulation tool, announced that it has acquired Utah-based 3DSIM, and the resulting combined simulation solution is now the industry’s only complete additive manufacturing simulation workflow.

3DSIM CEO Brent Stucker said, “We are excited to become part of the ANSYS family with its nearly 50-year history of helping customers realize their product promise. Combining 3DSIM’s leading additive manufacturing technology with ANSYS engineering simulation solutions will be a win-win for our customers and the entire industry.”

3DSIM, which was founded three years ago and develops powerful simulation software for metal additive manufacturing, is a well-known name in the industry, and it counts parts manufacturers, materials scientists, aerospace and automotive OEMs, research labs, and metal AM machine producers among the many customers that choose its simulation software tools over lengthy trial and error to meet their objectives.

Its products include FLEX, a cloud-based simulation program that allows engineers, analysts and researchers to virtually experiment with and optimize parts before actually printing them. By doing so, they can achieve the best process parameters for specific material and AM machine combinations, which can predict microstructures and other properties before the part is built, resulting in high integrity.

3DSIM also developed the easy-to-use, cloud-based exaSIM, a suite of metal AM simulation tools that offer insight into the complexities that arise from laser powder bed fusion technology. The tool was developed for designers and machine operators who work with 3D printed parts, and its patent-pending computational solvers work to offer precise predictions so they can identify and fix distortion, residual stresses, and build failure ahead of time. This means that users won’t have to deal with physical experiments to determine part tolerances.

At the recent TCT Show in Birmingham, the company released the full commercial version of exaSIM ULTIMATE, which added capabilities such as full part Thermal Strain predictions and Assumed Uniform and Scan Pattern strain.

“Additive manufacturing is changing the way companies are bringing products to market, and 3DSIM is helping to lead the way through its innovative solutions. By bringing exaSIM and FLEX onto our Workbench platform, ANSYS can offer customers the only end-to-end additive manufacturing simulation workflow available. That will spark innovation, speed time to market and reduce manufacturing costs for our customers across industries,” said ANSYS Vice President and General Manager Shane Emswiler.

The specific terms of the 3DSIM acquisition were not disclosed by either company.

What do you think about this acquisition? Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

 

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