Manufacturing Intelligence division has entered into a partnership with Sciaky Inc, a leading supplier of industrial metal 3-D printing solutions and subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries Inc (PSI), to enhance its electron beam additive manufacturing (EBAM) technology with predictive analysis tools.
Sciaky’s turnkey EBAM metal 3-D printers use high-value materials — such as titanium, tantalum and nickel-based alloys — to produce parts and structures up to 20ft long. The company’s award-winning process has produced large-scale parts significantly faster, cheaper and with less waste than traditional manufacturing methods for some of the largest aerospace companies in the world.
However, 3-D printing large parts composed of high-value metals can be tricky, because material behaviours are tougher to predict for large geometries. To address this matter, Sciaky’s ‘Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System’ (IRISS) enables closed-loop control of the EBAM 3-D printing process to eliminate variations and improve its quality and production throughput by ‘sensing and digitally self-adjusting metal deposition in real-time with precision and repeatability’.
To further support EBAM’s closed-loop control, Hexagon’s Simufact solution has been validated to accurately simulate the thermal-mechanical behaviour of the DED (directed energy deposition) process, enabling users to analyse thermal history, stresses, strains, and distortions throughout the process and optimise build setup and process parameters virtually before deposition.
As a result, the software reads EBAM’s printer trajectories and process parameters directly, reducing the effort required to produce the simulation model. The entire process is streamlined because the G-code is directly compensated within the software.
Jeff Robertson, business development (virtual manufacturing and costing solutions) at Hexagon, said: “Our goal is to deliver process simulation solutions that enable manufacturers to perform predictive analyses for parts faster than the part can be physically built and measured.
“Not long ago, it took months to complete high-quality simulations for these types of additive processes, but through our collaboration we now have the ability to make the same accurate predictions in days or hours, so the technology can facilitate the efficient use of Sciaky’s powerful additive capabilities for parts of any size or complexity.”