Simulation App Lets Designers Test Shaped Metal Deposition Processes

Share this Article

In Ansty Park, Coventry, UK the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) was established in 2010 to bridge the gap between academia and industry when it comes to manufacturing system solutions.

The MTC represents one of the largest public sector investments in UK manufacturing, and it now includes the £60m Aerospace Research Centre and National Centre for Net Shape and Additive Manufacturing.

One of nine such centers across the UK, it is designed to help companies take technologies developed in academic environments and institutes and bring those technologies to market, particularly additive manufacturing and 3D printing.User-interface-of-the-MTC-app

As 3D printing has emerged within a number of industries, the growing demand for the process has prompted simulation research into the techniques, and engineers at the MTC have focused on a method known as shaped metal deposition. They’ve built a simulation app to help designers and manufacturers test various design schemes to create the most optimized devices or processes.

Simulation experts often find themselves running multiple tests to account for each new design iteration of an object, and MTC’s Application Builder “has revolutionized this process.”

The app allows designers to include only those parameters important to end-user analysis, and they can hide a model’s complexity while still including all of the necessary underlying physics. The simulations allow designers to change specific inputs to simulate performance of new configurations, and the result is a more efficient simulation process to allow engineers to focus on the design outcome rather than the physics behind a model.The-MTC-team

Working with the team at COMSOL, a group at the MTC built an app to analyze and optimize shaped metal deposition (SMD). The simulation engineers say they recognized customer interest in additive manufacturing as it relates to shaped metal deposition, and in contrast to powder-based additive manufacturing techniques, they say SMD has drawn interest for its ability to build new features on pre-existing components and to combine a number of materials within the same part.

Similar to welding, SMD deposits a mass of molten metal in layers gradually on a surface, but one cause for concern in using the method is the idea that thermal expansion of molten metal can deform the cladded areas of a part as they cool.

Image 266So the MTC group, using COMSOL Multiphysics, created a model to predict the outcome of SMD deformations and thereby making it possible to change a design to account for those deformations.

The app was built by the MTC group based on a thermomechanical analysis of thermal stresses and deformation resulting from such SMD thermal cycles, and it can predict the extent to which deposition processes fall within a specific range of tolerances. The app allows users, through a relatively simple interface, to modify various inputs to test new designs and analyze their performance.

Borja Lazaro Toralles, an engineer with the MTC group, says this approach to analyzing and optimizing SMD is critical to the success of the method.Deformations-on-a-part-made-with-3D-printing

“Were it not for the app, our simulation experts would have to test out each project we wanted to explore, something that would decrease the availability of skilled resources,” he says.

He adds that the app has now been shared with members of the MTC team without simulation experience, and it has proved a simple way for team members to test and validate designs.

The MTC engineers have also begun designing a customized physics interface to enable modeling more complex tool paths and melt pools, and they say this interface will offer engineers an easier and faster method of implementation. There are also plans in the works to add features that will model the evolution of a microstructure on a macroscopic level which they can use to predict heat-affected zones.

manufacturing-technology-centre-coventryHave you ever used simulation software to predict the outcome of an additive manufacturing project? Let us know in the AM Simulation Software forum thread on 3DPB.com.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

JCRMRG’s 3D Health Hackathon Aims for Sustainable 3D Printed PPE

Janne Kyttanen: Live Entrepreneurship and 3D Printing Value Networks 3D Pops in Retail



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Featured

Where’s the 3D Printed Beef? New Tech 3D Prints 50 Vegan Steaks per Hour

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a series of positive trends in the food industry. From the invention of the first-ever 3D-printed, plant-based burgers to discovering how to personalize...

Live Entrepreneurship & 3D Value Networks: Lack of Innovation in Frozen Confections

In this continuing series, I’m having a look at how value networks can be used to shape the future of industries as well as fundamentally disrupt them. Previously we looked...

Featured

Food 3D Printing: 3D Printed Food for the Elderly Continues with Natural Machines

While the collaboration between Biozoon and FoodJet to 3D print food for the elderly did not yield marketable results, we have learned that progress continues to be made in aiding...

Chocolate 3D Printing with Mass Customization Around the Corner, Says FoodJet

We recently learned that the exciting PERFORMANCE project, meant to develop 3D-printed food for the elderly, didn’t quite pan out as expected, with the major partners, Biozoon and FoodJet, deciding...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.