Trial and error is especially costly in metal additive manufacturing. With so many variables across materials, machines, and part designs, it is almost impossible to know the formula for success.
Thermomechanical simulation, especially Netfabb’s multi-scale approach, provides a big advantage. Since 2012, over $7.3M USD has been spent validating the Netfabb Simulation solver predictions by comparing them with the experimental results for materials, print parameters, and design cases/geometries to help customers save time and money minimizing failures with metal additive manufacturing.
Description: A test geometry manufactured by United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) using Inconel 718 experienced distortion during the manufacturing process. Netfabb Simulation was used to attempt to compensate the geometry prior to manufacturing in order to reduce the net distortion.
Figure 2.1: Original preform (top left), experimental distortion measurement of the manufactured preform showing large distortion (top right), simulated distortion results in close agreement with measured distortion (bottom left), compensated geometry (bottom center), and the experimental distortion results of the manufactured compensated geometry showing reduced distortion.*
Conclusions: Netfabb Simulation can accurately predict both distortion magnitude and trends without requiring any experimental calibration. Netfabb Simulation can also use the calculated distortion to produce a compensated geometry that when manufactured, results in nearly no net distortion.
*Experimental data courtesy of America Makes, GE GRC, and United Technologies Research Center