The additive manufacturing has so far been predominantly used in plastic components, now 3D printing is increasingly being used in metallic components for prototyping and serial production. TECHNIA offers special software solutions with the products from Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA, which covers the simulation of the entire development process.

Metal Parts from a 3D Printer

Today’s product development process is characterized by shorter development time periods with simultaneous optimization of the product’s function, weight, and cost. The use of additive manufacturing supports this type of development. The use of additive production supports this development. Using 3D printing, serial prototypes can be produced in very short times. Therefore the time-consuming and costly production of tools and molds is no longer necessary. Such prototypes can be used, for example, for installation and to test product function. Such analyses can be carried out with limitations even if the actual series parts are manufactured conventionally. The detailed adaptation of the component shape to the loading requirements and at the same time to reduce the weight is another important advantage of the 3D printing of serial parts. Contrary to conventional production methods, in which a blank is produced by casting or machining, the component is produced by adding the metal layer by layer during the 3D printing process. Henceforth it is possible to produce the most complex forms with a low weight using the minimal material.

Consistent CAE Process Chain

Modern CAE methods form the basis of virtual product development processes. “The latest developments in the field of SIMULIA software products, which are distributed by us, promote the use of additive production in a targeted and efficient manner,” says Peter Straetemans, senior consultant at TECHNIA. The expert points out this added value when considering the heat generation during 3D printing and topology optimization, which can save up to 50 percent and more material and weight. The intensive simulation of the manufacturing procedure and functional behaviour of a component on the digital CAE model optimizes the use of additive manufacturing process.

SIMULIA technologies offer valuable services for this process. These software solutions from TECHNIA already include the physical effects of the printing process. When 3D printing metal objects, depending on the procedure used, the application of the material can result in high-temperature differences, which can then cause residual stresses and deformation. “We are also able to include this effect. Therefore a step nearer to reality,” says Peter Straetemans. Of course, the aim is always reducing the development cycle time for a new product, henceforth using the simulation to create a situation that is very close to reality as possible.

Marketplace for 3D Printing Services

This means that pre-production series can be produced very quickly with high quality and low cost. Dassault Systèmes offers a marketplace as a 3D printing service to close the gap between pre-production and real components. Here it is possible to contact the service provider directly from the system interface. Tender creation, task assignment, manufacturing, and delivery can be performed seamlessly without wasting any time. TECHNIA offers simulation solutions from Dassault Systémes SIMULIA for a wide range of applications to various industries. “Through a consistent platform, the complex mathematical technologies are brought into an easily accessible format with an intuitive interface,” says the simulation expert Straetemans.

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