Project start ROAD3D – New research project for calculation of 3D printed metal components

We started our newest research project ROAD3D on 18.07.2019. In cooperation with the University of Aalen, we want to make the design of 3D printed components safer in a pragmatic and affordable way.

Figure 1: Component from 3D printing with support structures

The name portrays what we have made our goal: ROAD3D – Robust arrangement and dimensioning of safety-relevant components for 3D metal printing.

As a calculation service provider, we are always strained by time, money and benefit. We therefore strive to make the latest technologies and suitable development and calculation methods simpler, faster and therefore cheaper.

Trying to describe the effects of 3D printing mathematically and physically accurately can lead to software prices up to 50k €/year and computing times of up to weeks for complex components. This results in costs that you, as our customers, are justifiably unwilling to pay.

So if the physical reality is too difficult to reproduce one-to-one, what is the solution?

A semi-empirical approach, combining CT (computed tomography), experimental results and simulation!

All good ideas are stolen. I worked with SYSWELD on material conversion simulation in the early 1990’s, but this never became a business model for services. Why? Too expensive and complex. The solution was simplified procedures that were fast and sufficiently precise to determine warp distortion without metallurgy.

Not everything is (yet) suitable for 3D printing, but it is amazing that printed parts sometimes show considerably higher strengths than for example cast components made of the same material. The question is, how much higher?

Resilient strength values, rules of thumb and empirical values? Scarce goods!

Do you have 3D printed parts that you would like to have rated? We are happy to incorporate your issue as part of our research project.

As with our SmartSim project, our deal is: hardware (a 3D printed part) in return for software (strength assessment). But hurry up. As part of the project, we only have very limited capacities. And real patterns are always better than academic examples.

Or contact us and tell us about your experience and problems with additive manufactured products in practice.

Please contact Dr. med. Maik Brehm, direct dial + 49-7321-9343-137, m.brehm@merkle-partner.de.

Your Stefan Merkle

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