Accurately Simulating 3D Printed Structure Topology – Metrology and Quality News

OverHiPP, or to be extra exact, Over-printing with Excessive Efficiency Polymers, is a 2-year Innovate UK funded challenge. GRM is one in every of six challenge companions concerned, together with a various advisory board. The purpose of OverHiPP is to develop and optimise a brand new hybrid manufacturing method for overprinting 3D printed materials onto composite sheets. Over-Printing is a brand new method that takes the advantages from plenty of current methods, particularly from over-moulding, resin switch moulding (RTM) and 3D printing. The advantages of this method embrace low tooling prices, elevated flexibility, speedy changeover of fabric and low materials waste. One problem with it, nonetheless, is the restricted information and applied sciences out there.

Current developments in 5 axis 3D printing {hardware} have enabled initiatives to push the technological limits additional by lowering the necessity for assist constructions; manufacturing shapes not beforehand potential, even with standard 3D printing; and, pertinently, over-printing materials onto current parts. Nevertheless, simulation methods for such 3D printed constructions haven’t developed on the identical tempo. It is a key space that GRM has been engaged on options.

GRM Consulting is a specialist design and topology optimisation software program firm, with in depth information and expertise in growing Finite Aspect Evaluation (FEA) programmes throughout a variety of disciplines. The corporate has been central to growing new software program for the OverHiPP challenge to supply perception, steering and confidence in 3D printed parts by bettering the accuracy of digital twins.

The device path and infill patterns make 5 axis 3D printed constructions extremely anisotropic in nature. This may make it troublesome to precisely mannequin these properties right into a digital twin and acquire perception into structural efficiency and failure modes. Furthermore, it’s virtually inconceivable for a human to manually mannequin the proper materials orientation onto every aspect in an FE mannequin.  GRM has solved this drawback by growing software program that may mechanically replicate a toolpath in an FE mannequin. Based mostly on a proprietary G-Code reader that may analyse and decide device path properties earlier than changing it into digital twin format it permits for the exact filament orientations and infill cavities to be thought-about when operating structural simulations.

GRM has rigorously examined its outcomes. One such take a look at investigated the feasibility of 3D printing a hyper-car foot relaxation. This included plenty of topology optimisation research being investigated to find out key load paths and structural efficiency. The ultimate outcomes had been interpreted and modelled by GRM for manufacture.

The research aimed to find out the optimum construct instructions utilizing the minimal quantity of fabric to greatest assist the assessed load circumstances.

From this, a CAD mannequin was then created in SolidWorks primarily based on the topology outcomes, prepared for manufacture on the Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) at Exeter College utilizing a high-temperature polyamide from Lehvoss. Native options, corresponding to shoulder bolt mounts, had been added and Design for Manufacture (DfM) drawings had been generated.

It was clear from each the simulation and take a look at outcomes {that a} five-fold distinction was present in each the stiffness and power efficiency when printing in poor and optimum instructions.

As a part of the OverHiPP challenge, GRM has enabled customers to nearly mannequin and analyse 3D printed constructions at a stage of element by no means seen earlier than. An correct digital twin can now be generated, permitting for exact design choices to be made, by creating up to date Nastran/Abaqus fashions. All of those software program options have robust correlation to bodily exams, proving their validity. Completely different printing methods can now be studied intimately, by assessing weak factors and failure modes for every variant earlier than manufacturing providing higher efficiencies within the workflow and extra constant, profitable outcomes.

For extra info: