Additive Works made their debut as a new Altair Alliance Partner at the 2017 EATC in Frankenthal, Germany in June. Nils Keller, CEO and Co-founder at Additive Works, introduced conference attendees to Amphyon, their simulation and process software for additive manufacturing (AM). “The idea was to find a very fast and pragmatic way to predict the problems of the process and not only to predict them but to solve them. We try to use the results of the simulation to help the process and the engineers doing the process to get a better quality and less waste” explained Nils. Amphyon is changing Additive manufacturing by integrating new analysis and simulation tools into the process chain to predict and solve common problems and aim for “right the first time” AM.
“Customers are facing high costs in pre-processing and especially in the post-processing. We provide a software solution where the customers can first simulate and check all of the influences instead of doing the process and learning from the process. We try to replace the experiment driven development of process parameters with simulation and analysis driven development.”
In Laser Beam Melting AM in particular, engineers must consider the part’s orientation, whether support structures are necessary and if there is potential for cracking and surface defects. There are several steps involved in this process, examination, process simulation, validation, distortion compensation and support optimization. Amphyon uses data to consider all possible orientations and determines which is optimal for the part. The software analyzes the accessibility, support volume, build time, post-processing effort, functional faces, distortion tendencies and the build chamber for each orientation.
For the best results, topology optimization can be done in conjunction with Amphyon so that fewer support structures are required and there is less risk of distortion. Nils suggested that a workflow with solidThinking Inspire or Altair OptiStruct could help add topology optimization to the additive manufacturing design process. “Altair is developing topology optimization algorithms and solutions for customers that are applied to AM and bring a big benefit to the design steps for AM… The combination of the Altair tools together with our tools could bring a very very big benefit to the users when we replace some gaps between the design and the manufacturing.” “I think Inspire is a very good and modern solution to help the designers interpret the results of topology optimization and create a design depending on the results. To have an already easy to use software where not experts can do some mouse clicks and come up with a design that is optimized for the process.”
In cases where Amphyon does predict that there will be distortions, the software is able to compensate for these before printing. The final step, support optimization, helps reduce material use, increases process stability, decreases development time and post-processing. What more could you ask for?!
Amphyon was created with the idea of having a one-click process to go from a CAD model to a physical 3D printed part. Additive Works has made large strides toward achieving this goal and is well on their way to “one-click” Additive Manufacturing.
APA enabled HyperWorks users can download Amphyon here.
Check out our interview with Nils below and click here to view the slides from his presentation.