LUXEMBOURG – January 25th, 2021 – e-Xstream engineering, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, has today introduced new simulation and virtual manufacturing capabilities that enable users to analyse the production cost of polymer-based additive manufacturing parts against conventional processes, and continuously improve their virtual engineering processes by validating the composite’s microstructure with CT scans of manufactured parts.
Additive manufacturing with composites is gaining traction in the market because of its ability to automate the creation of stronger and lighter components than metal processes and engineer the performance (e.g. with continuous fibre reinforced polymer) of the underlying material to purpose. The latest Digimat software enables businesses to simulate the 3D printing process and calculate the total cost of producing each part including the material utilisation, employee time, energy, and the required post-processing steps.
Using this new tool, an engineer can take a holistic view of part production and finishing processes to determine the best process chain for production. Crucially, it can also be used to perform batch optimisations to print as many parts as possible in parallel, increasing production capacity and reducing lead time. It can also be used in production planning, to consider the total cost of ownership of machines and amortise those costs over the projected production volumes. This information is visualised for the user through plots and pie charts, so the cost breakdown can be easily analysed for different scenarios.
Predicting the material behaviour of a CT-scanned microstructure is a computationally intensive process, for example it could take several days to analyse complex behaviour such as creep using Central Processing Units (CPU) computing only. By optimizing these processes for Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), some tasks can now be performed interactively by the engineer because results are produced in minutes. Benchmarks show the time required to analyse the stiffness of a material is reduced by 98%. This rapid solve time, combined with the introduction of a command line interface, also enables the use of Digimat finite element models within automated cloud-based optimization workflows on high performance computing platforms.
When producing high performance structures such as aerospace components from composites, the Progressive Failure Analysis (PFA) model makes it possible to define safety margins for a structure and make optimal use of the expensive materials and processes. The latest version of Digimat performs these complex Camanho model analyses twice as fast, making it possible to perform a parametric study to define defect tolerances and maximise production yields.
About Hexagon | e-Xstream engineering
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e-Xstream engineering, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, provides Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) solutions to innovate and optimise product performance using the right materials and manufacturing process for the right application. Learn more at e-Xstream.com. Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division provides solutions that utilise data from design and engineering, production and metrology to make manufacturing smarter.