Many people’s least favorite part of 3D printing, no matter which technology, is dealing with support structures. They’re frequently difficult to remove, and if they’re not placed correctly, they can render the entire part useless. In metal 3D printing, they’re especially tricky. If they’re not strong enough or designed to sufficiently withstand heat conduction, they can alter the shape or quality of the part in a negative way. They can also crack, which means the build must be stopped and redone entirely. This, obviously, can significantly drive up the cost per part, not to mention time required, especially if multiple iterations are required trying to get the software to generate sufficient supports.

Additive Works, a provider of additive manufacturing software, is addressing the issue of supports for powder bed-based, laser beam melting additive manufacturing processes with its Amphyon software. The simulation-driven process software allows for the automatic optimization of part orientation as well as a build-up process simulation and the adaption of process data for better part quality and more process stability. Additive Works is now introducing a new module that automates the process of support generation so that they’re done right on the first try.

Additive Works operates with what it calls the ASAP Principle: Assessment, Simulation, Adaptation and Process. The Assessment stage involves examining all possible build orientations in order to calculate optimal orientations as well as the limitations of the design. Simulation integrates simulation-based, automatic generation of support structures and fast process simulation tools into the pre-processing chain to ensure geometric accuracy and increase process stability while reducing the costs of process preparation. In the Adaptation stage, process parameters are controlled with respect to thermal and mechanical aspects via hatch re-orientation and parameter adaption. The Process stage is the 3D printing process itself, which should go smoothly if all the prior steps have been addressed.

Additive Works will be presenting the new Amphyon module at Rapid.Tech, which is taking place in Erfut, Germany from June 5th to June 7th. Visitors to the company’s booth will experience live demos and be able to see the module in action for the first time. There will also be two testing stations where visitors can get hands-on experience with the software, and experts from Additive Works will be available to answer questions and give advice on how to prepare a model for what the company calls “first-time-right additive manufacturing.”

“We are very much looking forward to presenting our new solution at Rapid.Tech in Erfurt. Amphyon was designed to replace the experiment-driven development of build-up strategies in laser beam melting with simulations and geometry analyses. With the new module we are expanding the capabilities of Amphyon, helping our customers to become even more efficient. Rapid.Tech gives us the perfect platform to premiere our new module and I’m sure that the visitors will be very interested to see what our new solution offers regarding an automated first-time-right support creation,” said Dr. rer. Nat. Nils Keller, Co-Founder and CEO, Additive Works.

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[Images: Additive Works]

 

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