Handle Part Case Study – Optimized part orientation and support structure as defined using the ATLAS software.
The goal of this project is to develop a modeling tool that would determine optimal part orientation and support location to minimize the likelihood of distortion during the subsequent direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process.
With direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), surface temperature gradients and sintering-induced shrinkage can lead to unanticipated residual stress and part distortion if there is not an efficient heat transfer conduit to remove the applied heat at desired rates.
The goal of this project is to codify the design rules of experienced additive manufacturing (AM) design/manufacturing engineers and use those rules within the software to automatically generate an optimal part orientation from an .stl file for DMLS. A second objective is to design optimized supports that would minimize distortion of DMLS-printed metal parts. The main focus of the project is the application of physics-based models to predict the temperature history of a part to optimize orientation for minimal distortion.
A survey of experienced AM design/manufacturing engineers is being conducted to determine the rules used to select an optimal part orientation. These rules will then be codified to automatically generate an optimal part orientation. Within the same task, a support minimization objective function and a first-principles heat transfer model for DMLS is being assimilated to predict thermal mass and temperature gradients to achieve a predicted minimal part distortion.
A design of experiments (DOE) study is being performed to create part artifacts and to identify major factors that may affect distortion. The accuracy of the results from the expert survey will be confirmed by characterizing part artifacts from the DOE study, and comparing them to the predictions of distortion from the models. Synthesized design rules and empirical insight will be codified, thus developing a software system ATLAS, an Autodesk Inventor plug-in, that generates optimal orientations with associated support locations to minimize distortion in DMLS printed parts.
Other Project Participants
- Johnson & Johnson
- University of Notre Dame
- U.S. Department of Defense
- National Science Foundation
- U.S. Department of Energy