The ASAP Principle

The ASAP-Principle describes four ideal steps on the way to a stable, efficient and reliable process chain: Assessment, Simulation, Adaption and the Process itself. By examining all possible build-up orientations with respect to economical and physical aspects of the process on the Assessment stage, both, limitations of the design and optimal orientations can be calculated. The integration of simulation based, automatic generation of optimized support structures and fast process simulation tools into the pre-processing chain on the Simulation stage ensures geometric accuracy and increases process stability while tremendously reducing the costs of process preparation. Finally, on the Adaption stage, process parameters should be controlled with respect to thermal and mechanical aspects via hatch re-orientation and parameter adaption. After going through these steps of pre-processing, on the last stage the first-time-right process itself concludes the ASAP-Principle.

 

Assessment

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Simulation

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Adaption

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Examiner (EXA)

Application specific optimization of build-up orientation based on the analysis and evaluation of required Support volume, Build time, Surface accessibility, Distortion sensitivity and Post-processing effort for every orientation.

Support volume

  • Calculates required support volume for all orientations
  • Customizable overhanging angle and support density

Build time

  • Estimates the built time for all orientations
  • Considers support volume and recoating time

Surface accessibility

  • Calculates the accessibility of the model surface
  • Highlights problematic areas

Distortion susceptibility

  • Calculates the distortion tendencies for all orientations
  • Fast simulation based estimation within minutes

Post-processing effort

  • Combination of accessibility and support areas
  • Helps to avoid problems with support removal
  • Displays regions with potential surfaces finishing problems

 

Assessment

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Simulation

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Adaption

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Supports (SUP)

Generation of optimized support structures that adjust support perforation and interfaces between part and support structure according to the loads that occur during the build-up process (MPS-Module required).

Design-space definition

  • Easy 3D definition of the design-space
  • Can be generated by e.g. overhanging angle criterium
  • Allows externally created STLs as design-space

Optimization

  • Uses default support parameters as initial values
  • Implements physics-based optimization
  • Calculates optimal parameters in support-space
  • Ensures process stability

Support creation

  • Support model geometry will automatically be created
  • Resulting supports can be exported as 2D STL file

Support geometry

  • Support structure is fragmented for easy removal
  • Wall perforation for good powder removal
  • Outer contour can be added for increased stability

Interface adaption

  • Easy removal of the support structure from part
  • Interfaces are adapted to avoid delamination

Mechanical Process Simulation (MPS)

Fast mechanical simulation of the laser beam melting process, calculating the residual stress and distortion fields on regular desktop hardware.

Experimental calibration

  • Calibration based on an easy to print small geometry
  • Takes simple optical measurement as imput
  • Fully automated routine
  • No complex micro-scale simulations necessary

Advanced meshing algorithms

  • Cutting edge meshing algorithms for accurate surface
  • Creates homogenized elements for filigree supports
  • No Finite-Element knowledge necessary
  • Easy to auto-mesh function

Mesh size independency

  • No dependency on meshed layer thickness
  • Reproducable result values with different meshes
  • Simulation on coarse meshes possible for large structures

Usage of massive parallelization

  • Easy setup with OpenCL or CUDA
  • Optimized for CAD workstation hardware
  • Fast calculation of real parts and support structures
  • Calculates on CPUs or GPUs

Basis for further modules

(Additional modules required)

  • Compensation of distortions with Pre-deformation Module
  • Optimization of supports with Support Generation Module

 

Assessment

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Simulation

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Adaption

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Predeformation (PRE)

One-click solution to pre-compensate residual distortions by adapting the build-up geometry (MPS-Module required).

Compensation of build distortions

  • Modifies STL using distortion values after buildup
  • Compensates irreversible process distortions

Compensation of residual distortions

  • Modifies STL using final distortion values
  • Compensates irreversible distortions by stress relaxation
  • Cutting direction and heat treatment can be considered

Modification of supports

  • Modifies STL of the support structure
  • "Ready for manufacturing" supports with pre-deformation

Automated STL refinement

  • Configurable degree of refinement
  • Adaptive method based on local deviation

Comparison of simulation and process

  • Export of deformed models and supports as STL
  • Analysis of the distorted shape (ext. software required)
  • Direct comparison with 3D scans (ext. software required)

Additive Works believes, that process parameters like scan speed or laser power should be adapted to and specified by the properties of the application. Since scan parameters in additive manufacturing processes constitute a major know how of both, technology provider and technology users, the innovative and patented technology of Additive Works is working on a level that respects aspects already optimized. Please contact us for more information on this field.