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Supporting the Additive Manufacturing Simulation Community through Benchmark Measurements

Supporting the Additive Manufacturing Simulation Community through Benchmark Measurements

Am-Bench - The Benefits

Additive manufacturing produces the material at the same time it builds a component, and because local build conditions vary widely throughout the build we are left with parts that have different material properties in different places. This greatly complicates qualification and certification. Computer simulation plays a critical role in bringing AM parts to service, but such simulations require rigorous verification and validation. That is where AM-Bench fits in. Am-Bench allows simulation tools to be tested against rigorous data that are publicly available, benefiting everyone. The software companies benefit through the ability to improve their codes and to demonstrate publicly that their simulations match accepted metrics. People who buy simulation codes benefit because they have more confidence that the codes will perform as needed. In my webinar, I will describe AM-Bench and give numerous comparisons between published simulations and the corresponding AM-Bench measurements. I’ll also talk about our next steps in providing rigorous benchmark data to the modeling community.


Additive manufacturing (AM) is a transformative technology that provides game-changing new capabilities across a wide range of material systems and applications. Polymer AM enables “mass-customization” by producing components or parts directly from 3D files. Metal AM enables production of three-dimensional parts with geometries that can be too costly, difficult, or in some cases, impossible to produce using traditional manufacturing processes. In many cases, however, difficulties persist regarding throughput, reliability, and the properties of the printed parts. Quantitative modeling is critical for predicting and understanding these issues, but model validation and verification requires community access to extensive benchmark test data. I described our establishment of the Additive Manufacturing Benchmark Test Series (AM-Bench) which provides rigorous measurement test data for validating Additive manufacturing simulations for a broad range of AM technologies and material systems. AM-Bench includes extensive in situ and ex situ measurements, simulation challenges for the AM modeling community, and a corresponding conference series. In 2018, the first round of AM-Bench measurements and the first AM-Bench conference were completed, focusing primarily upon laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) processing of metals, and both LPBF and material extrusion processing of polymers. In all, 46 blind modeling simulations were submitted by the international Additive manufacturing community for comparison with the in situ and ex situ measurements. Analysis of these submissions provides valuable insight into existing AM modeling capabilities. AM-Bench operates on a three-year cycle and all benchmark data are permanently archived and freely accessible online.

Webinar Presentation (PDF)

Webinar Recording (WebEx)

Note: The presentation and recording are only available to NAFEMS members.


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This series is available for free to the engineering analysis community, as part of NAFEMS' efforts to bring the community together online.

About the speaker

Dr. Lyle Levine

Dr. Lyle Levine is a physicist in the Materials Measurement Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the USA, where he leads most of NIST’s materials research in additive manufacturing (AM) of metals. With a dual emphasis on world-leading, quantitative measurements and microstructure evolution modeling, this Additive Manufacturing of Metals Project provides experimental input and validation testing for both high-fidelity AM models and reduced order models for additive manufacturing engineering design. Dr. Levine also founded and leads AM-Bench, an international organization that provides AM benchmark measurements for the Additive manufacturing community. With active participation from more than 80 organizations around the world, AM-Bench is the world’s leading provider of AM benchmark data. Dr. Levine also leads the experimental validation effort for ExaAM, the Exascale Computing Project’s effort to develop exascale supercomputer codes for simulating AM processes. ExaAM is a collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and NIST. In addition to his work on additive manufacturing, Dr. Levine founded the continuing Dislocations Conference Series and is highly active in synchrotron X-ray science, where he develops and uses new diffraction and scattering measurement methods for studying material microstructures. Dr. Levine received his B.S. in physics from Caltech and his Ph.D. in physics from Washington University in St. Louis.He is an adjunct professor of Mechanical Engineering at both Northwestern University and the University of Southern California, where he advises graduate students. Dr. Levine’s awards include NIST’s highest honor for innovations in measurement science, the Allen V. Astin Measurement Science Award; the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal; and the ASM Henry Marion Howe Medal.