Predictive Analysis Simulation makes it easier to print parts made of high value metals

From MA Alexander Stark

Hexagon has partnered with DED 3D printer OEM Sciaky, enabling its customers to optimise how they use its high-speed innovative Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (Ebam) printing process for high-value parts in G-code before deposition with accurate high-speed simulation and analysis.

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Sciaky’s EBAM 3D printing process
Sciaky’s EBAM 3D printing process
(Source: Sciaky)

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has entered a partnership with Sciaky, a supplier of industrial metal 3D printing solutions and subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, to enhance its Ebam technology with predictive analysis tools.

Sciaky’s turnkey Ebam metal 3D printers use high-value materials, such as titanium, tantalum, and nickel-based alloys, to produce parts and structures up to 20 feet in length. According to the company, this 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.

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 3D 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 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.