2022 update: Fast lattice simulation, multi-material support and further enhancements

May 5, 20223 minute read
Oqton - Amphyon version 2022

With the maturing of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, novel and exciting applications have been explored, expanding the former boundaries of manufacturing significantly. Yet, metal additive manufacturing is still a marvellous but challenging physical process, which requires intelligent software tools to support engineers along the whole process chain. Amphyon, powered by Oqton, a company helping manufacturers increasing innovation and efficiency by intelligently automating production, has proven to be a leading tool to predict and prevent the most common issues of metal additive manufacturing, such as deformations, delamination, or overheating by using simulation software technologies.

Oqton - Amphyon version 2022

With Amphyon 2022, the latest version of Oqton’s ground-breaking standalone simulation software has just been released to support engineers from all fields of industrial grade metal AM by helping to prevent issues like stress induced distortion or overheating, leading to unusable process results. One of the significant benefits offered by AM is the ability to fabricate complex geometries, which could never be realized using classic subtractive manufacturing processes. Among these geometries, complex lattice or filigree structures have proven to add value to applications through many industries, such as healthcare or industrial applications, to e.g., gain benefits from osseointegration or lightweight construction. However, to overcome the manufacturing challenges associated with additive manufacturing, simulation technologies usually rely on finite element method (FEM), which requires a mesh representation of the physical object to be manufactured. The computational efforts to conduct FEM simulations highly depend on the number of Finite Elements, which is required to be very high to correctly represent complex lattice structures. Thus, the simulation of parts including complex lattice structures for AM processes has always been a challenge for modern FEM simulation technologies.

Among many other features, including a general enhancement of Amphyon’s FE meshing capabilities, consideration of anisotropic material properties, hardening effects, and improved computational resource efficiency, the new version Amphyon 2022 introduces the possibility to consider different material regions within one part. Although it’s usually one powder used, material properties and loads can be different depending on the used scan parameters, that are basically variable and may change across different regions or defined zones. Based on this multi-material capability, an innovative approach to simulate lattice structures, using a mechanical representation of areas containing lattices or other complex or filigree structures is introduced.

Lattice & Replacement Structure

With this novel approach, process simulations for fabricating lattice heavy geometries can be conducted at much higher speed, while obtaining a level of accuracy comparable to conventional FEM simulation approaches. While the meshing duration of the example part shown in figure 1 was reduced from 7 minutes to 1 minute, the actual mechanical process simulation duration was reduced from more than 2 hours to less than 15 minutes.

This approach enables the simulation of complex applications in acceptable timeframes. Furthermore, such fast and highly accurate simulations will also pave the way for the usage of simulation in fully automated workflows for AM process preparation, e.g., within the Oqton manufacturing operating system.

In a half hour video, Jonas Baumeister introduces you to the Amphyon 2022 updates and new features. Click here to watch the video.