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Modeling Challenge for Additive Manufacturing - Deadline: January 6, 2017

There currently are two major efforts underway in the U.S. materials and manufacturing community intended to support advanced modeling of materials and manufacturing. These initiatives include varied activities surrounding modeling and simulation of additive manufacturing processes and Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME), also referred to as the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI). These efforts are critical to the national thrust in advancing the development and adoption of additive manufacturing technologies. Taken together, these new activities are the basis for compelling arguments that revitalization of American manufacturing through innovation and efficient execution of new manufacturing concepts can occur within the next 5 years.

Perhaps the most promising technology in near term implementation is additive manufacturing. However, a major barrier that remains is discovery of acceptable methods of rapidly qualifying components and processes employing additive. To implement this technology will require high levels of assurance that parts produced using additive manufacturing techniques provide the functional requirements dictated by the original design intent. The most obvious and, perhaps only, means of realizing rapid, high fidelity qualification is through the extensive use of computational modeling. Such models have several discrete aspects that broadly include the ability to link process, resultant microstructures, and anticipated mechanical properties. Hence, a Challenge in High Fidelity Modeling of Additive Manufacturing is proposed to identify existing or new computational techniques and methods that may prove useful in simulating all of the discreet aspects of additive manufacturing to a level of fidelity that enables an integrated and comprehensive perspective of resultant material characteristics to be defined. It is anticipated that potential participants in the Challenge may involve teams whose members provide specific expertise in the area of process, microstructure, or mechanical properties.

The Challenge

Integrated Modeling ApproachTo identify high fidelity computational models for the express purpose of accelerating the qualification processes used for components made by Additive Manufacturing (AM) methods.

These models must be capable of representing:

  • The thermal response of the specified material
  • The development and evolution of microstructure in the as-deposited condition
  • The resultant mechanical properties in the as-deposited condition

The challenge will evaluate simulation results of the Laser-Based Powder Bed Fusion process with Inconel® 718 alloy.

All questions should be emailed to Dr. Rich Martukanitz; please place "Modeling Challenge" in the subject line on all correspondence.


Modeling Data Package

To create a common starting point for all participants, critical process data and information needed for modeling of this process and material will be provided. A data package that includes this information will be released on November 18th to registered participants. 

Interested parties may register for the Challenge and receive the Modeling Data Package by contacting Dr. Richard Martukanitz on/after November 18th. 

On January 6th 2017, seven weeks after the data package is released, the challenge will conclude and all results must be submitted to CIMP-3D.

Information that will be included in the Modeling Data Package:

  • Characterization data of the powder and substrate materials
  • A STEP file of the part geometry
  • The build plan for each layer that enables the accurate depiction of motion of the heat source, along with a video of the first two layers
  • All relevant processing parameters
  • Critical points of interest within the simulation geometry for thermal response and microstructures

All requests should be emailed to Dr. Richard Martukanitz; please place "Modeling Challenge" in the subject line on all correspondence.



It is expected that all participants will provide certain data required for their particular models:

  • Thermo-physical data necessary for heat transfer calculations
  • Elevated temperature mechanical property data (constitutive relationships) 
  • Thermodynamic and/or kinetic data necessary for simulating microstructure evolution
  • Mechanical property relationships that derive strength based on microstructural information.

All questions should be emailed to Dr. Richard Martukanitz; please place "Modeling Challenge" in the subject line on all correspondence.

Model Challenge expectations 


Submitted simulation results will be compared to refereed data obtained through experimentation to access potential accuracies of process, microstructure, and static properties.

The following criteria, along with the weighted grading, will be used to determine the best simulation results when compared to the refereed data at specified locations:

  • Thermal response of the material during processing: (50%)
    • Predicted temperatures as a function of time at specified locations
    • Thermal fields at specified locations in relationship to beam position
  • Microstructural evolution and development: (30%)
    • Evolution of microstructure at specific locations
    • Final as-deposited microstructure at specific locations
  • Resultant Mechanical Properties: (20%)
    • Yield strength, tensile strength, and elongation relative to build orientation at specific locations
  • Bonus Categories: (10%)
    • The presence, cause, and effect of defects, specifically, lack of fusion
    • Residual stress prediction at defined locations
    • As-built distortion
  • The following criteria will also be considered:
    • The computational platform used 
    • Computational time required
    • Supporting information that describes the models and approach

For accurate assessment, experimental (“refereed”) data representing all aspects of the build will be used. This data will also represent some level of statistical confidence that will be used to validate the assessment.

All Submissions should be emailed to Dr. Richard Martukanitz; please place "Modeling Challenge" in the subject line on all correspondence.


The Prize

Based on a comparison of the simulation results to refereed data, the submissions with the highest score, using the provided criteria and weighted grading, will be selected as the winners of the challenge.

$100,000 in monetary awards will be provide to the top two participants.

CIMP-3D and America Makes reserve the right to withhold awards when no model results are found to adequately describe the additive manufacturing process. This will be based on an assessment of submitted model results and their ability to achieve a reasonable level of accuracy. This will be determined by the evaluation committee in order to be considered for an award.



This Challenge is open to all organizations.



Sponsored by: CIMP-3D at Penn State and America Makes

Supported by: DARPA's Open Manufacturing Program