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Nonparametric optimization can be used to produce functional designs with the least amount of material, thereby reducing weight, and production time and cost.

Stephen Moore

February 8, 2017

3 Min Read
Realistic simulation of 3D printing process enables design optimization

3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company Stratasys Ltd. is partnering with CAD and simulation software supplier Dassault Systèmes to provide next-generation design tools that improve the functionality, efficiency and weight ratio of additively manufactured production parts.

The weight of this Stratasys 3D printed circuit box for space applications was reduced by 30% using Simulia design optimization.

Strength and fatigue analysis accounts for the FDM 3D printing process and the specific materials employed.

The companies have collaborated on design and simulation capabilities for Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform which supports Stratasys’ fused deposition modeling process (FDM) 3D printers and materials. These new industry leading capabilities include:

  • Design optimization for lighter weight parts - 3D printed in an FDM process, using less material than a traditional manufacturing technology to achieve the same performance. Weight savings increase efficiency and reduce cost beyond what is possible with traditional manufacturing processes.

  • Strength and fatigue analysis that gives the confidence to expand applications for load-bearing 3D printed FDM parts and provide the tools needed to support part qualification.

  • Print process simulation providing further insights into the residual stresses and performance of the 3D printed FDM part.

“For additive manufacturing to reach its true potential, engineers need tools that will allow them to harness the virtually limitless geometric freedom that it provides. By fully simulating the unique characteristics of the FDM process, we’re able to bring unprecedented accuracy and speed to the design and validation process,” said Scott Berkey, CEO, Simulia, Dassault Systèmes. “We’re pleased to be partnering with Stratasys to bring these critical capabilities to customers.”

“This partnership brings Stratasys one step closer to that vision with high performance simulation tools that accurately represent the fused deposition model process,” said Jon Stevenson, Senior VP Global Software, Stratasys. “We believe the solution’s predictive capabilities and efficient workflow will significantly expand the range of parts that can be confidently produced with Stratasys FDM-based 3D printing solutions. These are already being used to create production parts by companies like United Launch Alliance, Opel, Volvo Trucks and Daihatsu.”

The automotive supply chain has a new rendezvous. UBM America’s newest design and manufacturing trade show and conference debuts in Cleveland, OH, on March 29 and 30, 2017. On one show floor, Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Cleveland showcases five zones—packaging, automation and robotics, design and manufacturing, plastics and medical manufacturing. Hundreds of suppliers and numerous conference sessions offer sourcing and educational opportunities targeted to the automotive and other key industry sectors. Go to the PLASTEC Cleveland website to learn more and to register to attend.

Stratysys cited the example of a circuit box used in a space application. Its costs $10,000 to place one pound of payload into Earth’s orbit so weight savings are crucial, especially when dozens of circuit boards are employed in a single launch vehicle. Design optimization through simulation delivered a 30% weight reduction as well as reducing overall print time and cost.

A joint webinar entitled ‘Simulation-Driven Design and 3D Printing with Dassault Systèmes and Stratasys’ will be hosted live on Thursday, February 16, 2017 and will provide further details on the collaboration and early solution capabilities.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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