Computed Tomography (CT) Based Inspection and Finite Element (FE) Simulation of Additive Manufactured (AM) Parts

This presentation was made at CAASE18, The Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation in Engineering. CAASE18 brought together the leading visionaries, developers, and practitioners of CAE-related technologies in an open forum, to share experiences, discuss relevant trends, discover common themes, and explore future issues.

Resource Abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) of metal parts is becoming more common as an alternative to traditional approaches due to the flexibility in design from which it allows designers to manufacture parts. However, the uncertainties of AM parts in terms of accuracy, quality, strength and reliability are still relatively high. Simulation techniques are now being incorporated into the design process to help improve the quality of the AM design process, reduce weight and ensure a higher probability of a successful build. Despite these efforts, however, there is still uncertainty in the differences between as-designed versus as-built AM parts, which leads manufacturers to ask the following question: “What are the differences between my design and the part that is actually manufactured via AM, and more importantly, how will these differences affect performance in the real world?”
Companies are already spending hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars on 3D imaging technology like industrial Computed Tomography (CT) scanners for inspection, non-destructive evaluation and reverse engineering of Additive Manufactured (AM) parts. From CT scans, users can typically understand things like porosity, crack/defect size, deviations from design etc. However, these workflows do not provide an understanding of how these defects and deviations from design will affect performance in the real world.
In this paper, we describe how the three groups, CT-imaging, AM and FE simulation, are just now starting to connect because of a need to better understand the performance of the real as-manufactured part, not just a CAD design ideal. Typically, due to the knowledge gap between these groups, the adoption of this workflow from the 3D scan to a realistic FE simulation can be tortuous with engineers using a mix of open source, in-house and/or commercial tools to create an inefficient workflow that can be an expensive drain on internal time and resources. We will demonstrate a Case Study proof of concept workflow where ANSYS tools are used to design a lightweight bracket, which is built using the laser powder bed AM in a titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V), is then scanned in a North Star Imaging (NSI) CT scanner and then Simpleware Software is used to inspect the geometry and generate an FE mesh, which is exported to ANSYS for simulation. This workflow allows users to close the design loop and truly understand how any defects in the manufactured part can affect performance in the real world.

Document Details

AuthorGenc. K
Date 5th June 2018


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