Software and simulation

Project examples of the research topic Quality

© Fraunhofer IWM

Optimization of shape distortions

Graded or multi-material parts made out of ceramic and/or metal exhibit inhomogeneous shrinkage during final sintering

© Fraunhofer IWM

Local properties of additive manufactured parts

In the completed EU-project »SIMCHAIN« a simulation chain was developed that allows to study the influence of process parameter on the local mechanical properties of additive manufactured parts.

© Fraunhofer IWM

Simulation of residual stresses and warpage in stereolithography

Resins for stereolithography shrink during polymerization. During the layer wise curing this leads to residual stresses and warpage

© Fraunhofer IWM

Numerical simulation of powder spreading in powder-bed systems

Final surface roughness and porosity is influenced by the homogeneity of the individual powder-bed layers.

© Fraunhofer IGD

Cuttlefish - voxel-based, streaming-enabled 3D printer driver

Cuttlefish locally controls the process parameters (e.g. the laser power in the SLM process) and the material positioning (e.g. the material distribution in high-resolution multi-material 3D printing).

Make additive methods calculable, control additive methods

Additive manufacturing is closely linked to the digital control of the manufacturing process: Components are manufactured directly on the basis of a digital representation. The Fraunhofer Generative Manufacturing Alliance develops algorithms to control additive manufacturing processes, for example to specifically design the optical properties of components, or to simulate individual process steps, e.g. to derive measures to reduce residual stresses and distortion.

Algorithmik & Software

Software tools and the algorithms they contain are an essential part of additive process optimization and the digital process chain. This includes dither methods for material positioning in multi-material 3D printing with minimal material agglomeration or geometry-adaptive laser guidance in laser beam melting, where the rapid calculation of various geometric features (distance to component surface, orientation of offset surfaces, etc.) is necessary. Methods for "making printable" 3D models with faulty geometry (e.g. incorrect surface orientation, holes, non-manifold edges and corners) are also essential for an automated process chain and fall into this category.

Models and simulations

Simulation tools contribute to material development and to the optimization of process steps, e.g. to minimize distortions. The numerical approaches range from atomistic and thermodynamic simulations for alloy development to the flow, compacting and sintering behavior of powders, melt bath and microstructure development simulations of metals, mechanical models for the hardening behavior of resins, simulations of hybrid processes and post-treatment steps to the lifetime evaluation of additively manufactured components.

RISTRA - Fast interactive structural analysis

In the virtual product development process it is often crucial to simulate the properties of many product variants in order to generate resilient decision criteria for the selection of the final design prior to prototype construction or series production. This classical product simulation is frequently used in generative manufacturing, but also in other manufacturing processes. In order to significantly increase the number of variants to be investigated, we have developed RISTRA - Rapid Interactive Structural Analysis. RISTRA is a graphics processing unit (GPU) optimized simulation software for structural mechanics that uses thousands of GPU processors to quickly predict three-dimensional mechanical stress distribution under given loads. Through efficient GPU data structures and massively parallel algorithms, accelerations of up to 80x compared to commercial software are achieved.