EOS has launched a pre-processing simulation software in partnership with Additive Works, an expert in the field of process preparation.

Amphyon will enable users of EOS’ 3D printing hardware to simulate the building process of additively manufactured parts, highlight potential issues, and allow the operator to act on them. It serves to help designers and manufactures to save on costs and time, give them increased build productivity and allow them to better handle shape accuracy and surface quality. The software will be offered to current and future EOS customers, while both partners will contribute future updates and enhancements to the platform.

Simulation capabilities are believed to be a key component in 3D printing’s future as a tool for the manufacture of end-use components. They increase the chance of parts coming out as desired first time, and makes additive manufacturing a much more viable production method.

“While the vast majority of the public thinks that additive manufacturing allows for the creation of three dimensional objects from a digital design by just clicking a button, users of the technology know that the reality is more complex,” offered Martin Steur, Head of Product Management Software and Services at EOS. “United by the mission to make industrial 3D printing even more intuitive and user-friendly, EOS is happy to partner with Additive Works on the subject of AM-process-simulation. ‘Simulate before you create’ really is a key factor to ensure a successful laser sintering process with metal materials, right from the start.”

“Although the AM technology is itself mature, for unexperienced users it can be difficult to predict if a part will be 3D printed as expected,” added Dr Nils Keller, CEO, Additive Works. “So when a part is manufactured with issues, e.g. surface defects, it means a waste of machine time and material costs. Using simulation software is standard when it comes to conventional manufacturing methods. With Amphyon, simulation now also becomes a solution for additive manufacturing, underlining the increased use and changing requirements of industrial 3D printing for serial production.”

Amphyon has been designed with the ‘ASAP’ principle in mind. A new workflow for Direct Metal Laser Sintering job preparation, ASAP encompasses assessment, simulation, adaption, and process. Addressing assessment, an examiner module evaluates the geometry of the part and assesses all possible build-up orientations. The software automatically finds the best part orientation in the build chamber of the 3D printer, saving the hassle of doing it manually. For simulation, there are two modules available: the support module and the mechanical process simulation (MPS) module. With the former, optimises support structures can be automatically generated to support the part as it is manufactured on the build platform. The software’s ‘innovative optimisation routines’ can adapt the support preforation and the interfaces between part and support material based on the calculated process loads. This helps to save on material usage and helps to increase the stability of the process. Meanwhile, the MPS module offers a quick and intuititve way to simulate process mechanics, calculate distortions, and if they exist, compensate for them by exporting and building a pre-deformed STL file.

Ensuring easy and accurate simulation of AM workflows, key EOS metal materials are integrated into Amphyon and calibrated with regards their specific properties. In time, all metal materials will be calibrated and integrated.