Additive Manufacturing Simulation

ANSYS offers a complete simulation workflow for additive manufacturing (AM) that allows you to transition your R&D efforts for metal AM into a successful manufacturing operation.

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) is a technology that produces three-dimensional parts layer by layer from a variety of materials. It has been rapidly gaining popularity as a true manufacturing process in recent years. In the AM process, a digital data file is transmitted to a production machine, which ultimately translates an engineering design into a 3D-printed part. Initially, AM was utilized as a rapid prototyping method — an accelerated method to create (mostly plastic) parts before manufacturing by well-accepted methodologies, such as injection molding, casting, forming, joining, etc.

Metal-based AM processes were developed in the 1990s. Soon after, several companies launched laser sintering systems that could 3D print metal parts directly, thus providing an alternative to direct, multi-stage manufacturing processes. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an AM technique that uses a laser as the energy source to melt powder (metal or polymer). The laser targets points in space defined by a 3D model, and binds the powder material together to create a solid structure.

Metal AM offers a number of benefits over traditional manufacturing, including:

  • Creating parts and structures that are impossible to manufacture with traditional methods, e.g., parts with intricate internal structures or complex organic shapes. A single AM-generated part can replace an entire multi-part assembly. Also, parts may be designed and produced for better performance and with more efficient use of materials.
  • Manufacturing replacement metal parts on-demand, without the need for an entire factory and multiple machines.
  • Producing of novel materials with unique properties.
  • Replacing worn out or broken parts that are no longer manufactured. Deposition processes enable new functionality to be built on top of existing parts, opening up new opportunities for the remanufacturing of components.

ANSYS’ best-in-class solution for additive manufacturing enables simulation at every step in your AM process. It will help you optimize material configurations and machine and parts setup before you begin to print. As a result, you’ll greatly reduce — and potentially eliminate — the physical process of trial-and- error testing.

Additive Workflow

ANSYS Additive simulation process

ANSYS AM simulation tools will help you:

  • Design for AM (DfAM) utilizing topology optimization and lattice structures
  • Conduct design validation
  • Improve build setup — with additional design features for part manufacturing, including part orientation and automatic generation of physics-based support structures
  • Simulate print process
  • Explore and gain greater understanding of materials

The ANSYS solution is especially designed for these users:

  • Aerospace OEMs and suppliers
  • Metal AM print services bureaus
  • Biotech companies with AM efforts
  • Automotive OEMs and suppliers
  • AM materials R&D companies
  • Metal AM machine manufacturers
Additive Manufacturing