The experts at PADT are often asked to speak at conferences around the country, even around the world. This is a great opportunity for us to present what we do and share what we know. The downside is that we only reach the people in the room. The solve this, we are going back and presenting past live seminars at our desks and recording them on BrightTalk. This is the first of those recordings. To find others go to our BrightTalk Channel
Metal 3D Printing systems, especially Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing machines, have made the free-form creation of metal parts directly from CAD a reality. This has freed geometry from the constraints of traditional manufacturing and reducing the product development process.
This presentation goes over what Design Engineers need to know to adapt to the possibility and constraints of 3D Printing in metal.
Have you ever wondered about choosing a plain versus funky infill-style for filament 3D-printing? Amongst the ten standard types (no, the cat infill design is not one of them), some give you high strength, some greatly decrease material use or printing time, and others are purposely tailored with an end-use in mind.
Highly detailed Insight slicing software from Stratasys gives you the widest range of possibilities; the basic versions are also accessible from GrabCAD Print, the direct-CAD-import, cloud-connected slicing software that offers an easy approach for all levels of 3D print users.
A part that is mimicking or replacing a metal design would do best when built with Solid infill to give it weight and heft, while a visual-concept model printed as five different test-versions may work fine with a Sparse infill, saving time and material. Here at PADT we printed a number of sample cubes with open ends to demonstrate a variety of the choices in action. Check out these hints for evaluating each one, and see the chart at the end comparing build-time, weight and consumed material.
Basic Infill Patterns
Solid (also called Alternating Raster) This is the default pattern, where each layer has straight fill-lines touching each other, and the layer direction alternates by 90 degrees. This infill uses the most material but offers the highest density; use it when structural integrity and super-low porosity are most important.
Solid (Alternating Raster)
Sparse Raster lines for Sparse infill also run in one direction per layer, alternating by layer, but are widely spaced (the default spacing is 0.080 inches/2 mm). In Insight, or using the Advanced FDM settings in GrabCAD, you can change the width of both the lines and the spaces.
Sparse Double Dense As you can imagine, Sparse Double Dense achieves twice the density of regular Sparse: it deposits in two directions per layer, creating an open grid-pattern that stacks up throughout the part.
Sparse High Density Just to give you one more quick-click option, this pattern effectively sits between Sparse Double Dense and Solid. It lays rasters in a single direction per layer, but not as closely spaced as for Solid.
Hexagram The effect of this pattern looks similar to a honeycomb but it’s formed differently. Each layer gets three sets of raster lines crossing at different angles, forming perfectly aligned columns of hexagons and triangles. Hexagram is time-efficient to build, lightweight and strong in all directions.
Advanced Infill Patterns (via Custom Groups in Insight)
Hexagon By laying down rows of zig-zag lines that alternately bond to each other and bend away, Hexagon produces a classic honeycomb structure (every two rows creates one row of honeycomb). The pattern repeats layer by layer so all vertical channels line up perfectly. The amount of build material used is just about one-third that of Solid but strength is quite good.
Permeable Triangle A layer-by-layer shifting pattern of triangles and straight lines creates a strong infill that builds as quickly as Sparse, but is extremely permeable. It is used for printing sacrificial tooling material (i.e., Stratsys ST130) that will be wrapped with composite material and later dissolved away.
Permeable Tubular This infill is formed by a 16-layer repeating pattern deposited first as eight varying wavy layers aligned to the X axis and then the same eight layers aligned to the Y axis. The resulting structure is a series of vertical cylinders enhanced with strong cross-bars, creating air-flow channels highly suited to tooling used on vacuum work-holding tables.
Gyroid (so cool we printed it twice) The Gyroid pattern belongs to a class of mathematically minimal surfaces, providing infill strength similar to that of a hexagon, but using less material. Since different raster spacings have quite an effect, we printed it first with the default spacing of 0.2 inches and then widened that to 0.5 inches. Print time and material use dropped dramatically.
Schwarz D (Diamond) This alternate style of minimal surface builds in sets of seven different layers along the X-axis, ranging from straight lines to near-sawtooth waves, then flipping to repeat the same seven layers along the Y-axis. The Schwarz D infill balances strength, density and porosity. As with the Gyroid, differences in raster spacing have a big influence on the material use and build-time.
Digging Deeper Into Infill Options
Infill Cell Type/0.2 spacing
Alternating Raster (Solid)
1 h 57 min
6.29 cu in.
Sparse Double Dense
1 hr 37 min
4.52 cu in.
1 h 49 min
2.56 cu in.
Hexagram (3 crossed rasters)
1 h 11 min.
3.03 cu in.
1 h 11 min.
3.04 cu in.
Permeable Tubular – small
2 h 5 min.
2.68 cu in.
Gyroid – small
1 h 48 min.
2.39 cu in.
Schwarz Diamond (D) – small
1 h 35 min.
3.04 cu in.
Infill Cell Type/0.5 spacing
Permeable Tubular – Large
1 h 11 min.
1.33 cu in.
Gyroid – Large
1.29 cu in.
Schwarz Diamond (D) – Large
1.51 cu in.
Hopefully this information helps you perfect your design for optimal strength or minimal material-use or fastest printing. If you’re still not sure which way to go, contact our PADT Manufacturing group: get your questions answered, have some sample parts printed and discover what infill works best for the job at hand.
is a globally recognized provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development
and 3D Printing products and services. For more information on Insight, GrabCAD
and Stratasys products, contact us at email@example.com.
The result of over four years of testing, the Stratasys V650 Flex delivers high quality outputs unfailingly, time after time. More than 75,000 hours of collective run time have gone into the V650 Flex; producing more than 150,000 parts in its refinement.
Upgrade to the Stratasys V650 Flex 3D Stereolithography printer and you can add game-changing advances in speed, accuracy and reliability to the established capabilities of Stereolithography. Create smooth-surfaced prototypes, master patterns, large concept models and investment casting patterns more quickly and more precisely than ever.
In partnership with DSM, Stratasys have configured, pre-qualified and fine-tuned a four-strong range of resins specifically to maximize the productivity, reliability and efficiency of the V650 Flex 3D printer. Create success with thermoplastic elastomers, polyethylene, polypropylene and ABS:
Next-generation stereolithography resins, ideal for investment casting patterns.
Stereolithography accuracy with the look, feel and performance of thermoplastic.
For applications needing strong, stiff, high-heat-resistant composites. Great detail resolution
A clear solution delivering ABS and PBT-like properties for stereolithography.
Thanks to reduced downtime and increased workflow, the Stratasys V650 Flex prints through short power outages, and if you ever need to re-start, you can pick up exactly where you left off. Years of testing have helped deliver not only the stamina to run and run, but also low maintenance needs and high efficiency. To make life even easier, the V650 Flex runs on 110V power, with no need to switch to a 220V power source.
For ease of use, every V650 Flex comes with a user-friendly, touch-enabled interface developed in parallel with SolidView build preparation software. This software contains smart power controls and an Adaptive Power Mode for automated adjustment of laser power, beam size and scan speeds for optimum build performance.
The V650 Flex also comes equipped with adjustable beam spot sizes from 0.005” to 0.015” that enhance control, detail, smoothness and accuracy. With more precise printing comes better informed decision-making and better chances of success. You have twice the capacity and, to ease workflow further, this production-based machine provides a large VAT for maximum output (build volume 20”W x 20”D x 23”H) and interchangeable VATs.
Through partnering with Stratasys and Stereolithography now comes with an invaluable component: peace of mind. The V650 Flex is backed by the end-to-end and on-demand service and world-class support that is guaranteed with Stratasys. Any field issues get fixed fast, and their 30 years’ experience in 3D printing enable us to help you do more than ever, more efficiently.
Discover how you can work with advanced efficiency thanks to the all new Stratasys V650 Flex.
Contact the industry experts at PADT via the link below for more information:
In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Simulation Support Manager Ted Harris, and CFD Team Lead Engineer Clinton Smith for a round-table discussion regarding new capabilities for Design Engineers in the latest release of the ANSYS Discovery family of products (Live, AIM, & SpaceClaim). Listen as they express their thoughts on exciting new capabilities, long anticipated technical improvements, and speculate at what has yet to come for this disruptive set of tools.
If you would like to learn more about this update and see the tools in action, check out PADT’s webinar covering ANSYS Discovery AIM & Live in 2019 R1 here: shorturl.at/gyKLM
If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear from you!
If you’ve been thinking of trying out Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber (12CF) to replace aluminum tooling or create strong end-use parts, do it! All the parts we’ve built here at PADT have shown themselves to be extremely strong and durable and we think you should consider evaluating this material.
Nylon 12CF filament consists of black Nylon 12 filled with chopped carbon fibers; it currently runs on the Stratasys Fortus 380cf, Fortus 450 and Fortus 900 FDM systems when set up with the corresponding head/tip configuration. (The chopped fiber behavior requires a hardened extruder and the chamber runs at a higher temperature.) We’ve run it on our Fortus 450 and found with a little preparation you get excellent first-part-right results.
With Nylon 12CF, fiber alignment is in the direction of extrusion, producing ultimate tensile strength of 10,960 psi (XZ orientation) and 4,990 psi (ZX orientation), with tensile modulus of 1,100 ksi (XZ) and 330 ksi (ZX). By optimizing your pre-processing and build approach, you can create parts that take advantage of these anisotropic properties and display behavior similar to that of composite laminates.
Best Practices for Successful Part Production
Follow these steps to produce best-practice Nylon 12CF parts:
Part set-up in Insight or GrabCAD Printsoftware:
If the part has curves that need a smooth surface, such as for use as a bending tool, orient it so the surface in question builds vertically. Also, set up the orientation to avoid excess stresses in the z-direction.
The Normal default build-mode selection works for most parts unless there are walls thinner than 0.2 inches/0.508 mm; for these, choose Thin Wall Mode, which reduces the build-chamber temperature, avoiding any localized overheating/melting issues. Keep the default raster and contour widths at 0.2 inches/0.508 mm.
For thin, flat parts (fewer than 10 layers), zoom in and count the number of layers in the toolpath. If there is an even number of layers, create a Custom Group that lets you define the raster orientation of the middle two layers to be the same – then let the rest of the layers alternate by 90 degrees as usual. This helps prevent curl in thin parts.
Set Seam Control to Align or Align to nearest, and avoid setting seams on edges of thin parts; this yields better surface quality.
2. In the Support Parameters box, the default is “Use Model Material where Possible” – keep it. Building both the part and most of the surrounding supports from the same material reduces the impact of mismatched thermal coefficient of expansion between the model and support materials. It also shortens the time that the model extruder is inactive, avoiding the chance for depositing unwanted, excess model material. Be sure that “Insert Perforation Layers” is checked and set that number to 2, unless you are using Box-style supports – then select 3. This improves support removal in nearly enclosed cavities.
3. Set up part placement in Control Center or GrabCAD Print software: you want to ensure good airflow in the build chamber. Place single parts near the center of the build-plate; for a mixed-size part group, place the tallest part in the center with the shorter ones concentrically around it.
4. Be sure to include a Sacrificial Tower. This is always the first part built, layer by layer, and should be located in the right-front corner. Keep the setting of Full Height so that it continues building to the height of the tallest part. You’ll see the Tower looks very stringy! That means it is doing its job – it takes the brunt of stray strings and material that may not be at perfect temperature at the beginning of each layer’s placement.
5. Run a tip-offset calibration, or two, or three, on your printer. This is really important, particularly for the support material, to ensure the deposited “bead” is flat, not rounded or asymmetric. Proper bead-profile ensures good adhesion between model and support layers.
6. After printing, allow the part to cool down in the build chamber. When the part(s) and sheet are left in the printer for at least 30 minutes, everything cools down slowly together, minimizing the possibility of curling. We have found that for large, flat parts, putting a 0.75-inch thick aluminum plate on top of the part while it is still in the chamber, and then keeping the part and plate “sandwiched” together after taking it out of the chamber to completely cool really keeps things flat.
7. If you have trouble getting the part off the build sheet: Removing the part while it is still slightly warm makes it easier to get off; if your part built overnight and then cooled before you got to it, you can put it in a low temp oven (about 170F) for ten (10) to 20 minutes – it will be easier to separate. Also, if the part appears to have warped that will go away after the soluble supports have been removed.
Be sure to keep Nylon 12CF canisters in a sealed bag when not in use as the material, like any nylon, will absorb atmospheric moisture over time.
Many of these tips are further detailed in a “Best Practices for FDM Nylon 12CF” document from Stratasys; ask PADT for a copy of it, as well as for a sample or benchmark part. Nylon 12 CF offers a fast approach to producing durable, custom components. Discover what Nylon 12CF can mean for your product development and production groups.
PADT Inc. is a globally recognized provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development and 3D Printing products and services. For more information on Nylon 12CF and Stratasys products, contact us at email@example.com.
An industrial 3D printer at a price that brings professional 3D printing to the masses. Introducing the powerfully reliable F120, the newest addition to the Stratasys F123 Series. Stratasys brings their industrial expertise to transform the 3D printing game.
The F120 is everything you have come to expect from Stratasys: Accurate results, user-friendly interface and workflow, and durable 3D printing hardware. Their industrial-grade reliability means there is low maintenance compared to others.
When it comes to touch-time, there is little to no tinkering or adjustment required. The F120 is proven to print for up to 250 hours, uninterrupted with new, large filament boxes, as well as printing 2-3 times faster than competition, making for a fast return on investment.
Worried about lengthy and complicated setup time? Why wait to print – the Stratasys F120 is easy to install and set up, whether you’re new to 3D printing or not. Ease of use comes standard with GrabCAD Print machine control software. Dramatically simplify your workflow and see how the Stratasys F120 sets the standard for ease of use, with no specialized training or dedicated technician required.
The Stratasys F120 outperforms the competition. But don’t just take our word for it. Over 1000 hours were spent independently testing a number of key build attributes, including feature reproduction, part sturdiness and surface quality. The Stratasys F123 Series and its engineering-grade materials came out on top.
When considering purchasing a printer; time-to-part, failed print jobs, downtime, repairs, and schedule delays all should be accounted for.
The Stratasys F120 has all the features and benefits of their larger industrial-grade 3D printers, along with the superior speed, reliability, minimal touch-time, and affordable purchase price, giving you the best cost-per-part performance. Print complex designs with confidence thanks to soluble support, and enjoy unrivaled ease of use and accuracy with every print.
Don’t waste time and resources on tools that aren’t up to the task. Enhance your productivity. Make it right the first time with the F120.
Want to learn more about this exciting new tabletop printer that’s blowing away the competition?
Contact the industry experts at PADT via the link below:
In an exciting statement this week, Stratasys, world leader and pioneer of all things of 3D Printing technology announced the launch of three new products: F120 3D Printer, V650 Flex Large Scale Stereolithography Printer, and Pantone Color Validation on the J750 and J735 3D Printers.
As a certified platinum Stratasys channel partner, PADT is proud to offer these new releases to manufacturers, designers, and engineers of all disciplines in the four corners area of the United States (Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico).
Check out the brochures listed below, and contact PADT at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. More on these offerings will be coming soon.
Introducing the Stratasys F120 Affordable Industrial-grade 3D printing
The newest member of the F123 platform brings the value of industrial grade 3D printing capabilities to an accessible price point.
To get professional 3D printing results, you need professional tools. But most people think they can make do with low-priced desktop printers. They quickly find out, however, that these printers don’t meet their expectations.
It doesn’t have to be a choice between great performance and price. The Stratasys F120 delivers industrial-grade 3D printing at an attractive price with consistent results that desktop printers can’t match.
Introducing the Stratasys V650 Flex A Configurable, Open VAT, Large Scale Stereolithography Printer by Stratasys
Introducing the Stratasys V650 Flex: a production ready, open material Vat Polymerization 3D Printer with the speed, reliability, quality, and accuracy you would expect from the world leader in 3D printing.
Upgrade to the Stratasys V650 Flex 3D Stereolithography printer and you can add game-changing advances in speed, accuracy and reliability to the established capabilities of Stereolithography.
Create smooth-surfaced prototypes, master patterns, large concept models and investment casting patterns more quickly and more precisely than ever.
Introducing Pantone Color Validation for the J750 and J735 3D printers 3D printing with true color-matching capabilities is here
Say goodbye to painting prototypes and say hello to the Stratasys J750 and J735 3D Printers. As the first-ever 3D printers validated by Pantone, they accurately print nearly 2,000 Pantone colors, so you can get the match you need for brand requests or design preferences.
This partnership with Pantone sets the stage for a revolution in design and prototype processes. As the industry’s first PANTONE Validated™ 3D printers, they allow designers to build realistic prototypes faster than ever before – shrinking design-to-prototype and accelerating product time-to-market.
One of the most exciting, and terrifying, aspects of being a parent is when it is time for your children to head out on their own. Here at PADT we have been growing and nurturing our 3D Printing Post Processing business for 10 years. With 12,500 Support Cleaning Apparatus systems in the field globally, it was time to give our SCA business the freedom it needs to grow.
We are very proud to announce the creation of a new company, Oryx Additive.
Initially, not much will change, other than the name as we focus on building an outstanding team that is as excited as we are about this much-needed aspect of 3D Printing. Stay tuned as we all watch Oryx Additive grow and prosper.
Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML.
If you have any questions about soluble support removal or other post-processing steps for additive manufacturing, reach out to email@example.com or call 480.813.4884.
PADT Spins-Off Successful 3D Printing Support Removal Equipment Line Into a Separate Company, Oryx Additive
PADT’s Industry Leading Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) Business Becomes Oryx Additive, Focused on Developing New Post-Processing Equipment for Additive Manufacturing
TEMPE, Ariz., March 5, 2019 ─ PADT, a globally recognized provider of numerical simulation, product development, and 3D printing products and services, today announced the spin-off its successful Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) 3D printing support removal equipment business into a separate company, Oryx Additive. Taking the reins after PADT’s successful 10-year run as the leading supplier in the industry, Oryx Additive will build on PADT’s existing line and develop new innovations for 3D printing post-processing.
“In additive manufacturing, parts coming off the printer often require the removal of support material or other secondary processes to yield the finished parts. The PADT SCA product-line has been the most popular soluble support removal product for more than a decade,” said Rey Chu, principal and co-founder, PADT. “The growth of the 3D printing industry has increased the demand for post processing equipment and provided us with the opportunity to expand this portion of PADT’s business by creating a separate company. Oryx Additive will continue PADT’s legacy of offering solutions that reliably process 3D printed parts while reducing cycle time and increasing productivity.”
Oryx Additive will leverage PADT’s experience in engineering, manufacturing, and 3D printing post-processing to continue developing innovative solutions to meet additive manufacturing post processing needs. Oryx Additive will take over the responsibility of continuing supply and service on the current SCA products immediately. Oryx Additive will also provide future upgrades and develop expanded applications of these products.
PADT has developed a comprehensive post-processing product roadmap and a broad product pipeline that Oryx Additive will focus on bringing into the market in the near future. With strong leadership, a wide installed customer base, extensive industry knowledge, and engineering expertise, Oryx Additive is positioned to introduce new post-processing products to serve the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry quickly.
PADT is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long-term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 80 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.
About Oryx Additive
Oryx Additive is a subsidiary of PADT, specializing in the innovation and engineering of additive manufacturing post-processing solutions. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona and serving a global customer base, Oryx Additive was founded based on the success of PADT’s industry-leading 3D printing support removal equipment line, the Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA). Oryx Additive will continue to supply the SCA as well as develop new support removal equipment to serve the growing population of companies leveraging additive manufacturing across industries More information on Oryx Additive can be found at www.oryxadditive.com.
Desktop Metal was created to change the way companies bring
products to market with metal 3D printing. Current metal 3D printing is often
too expensive or industrial for many potential users. Fundamentally different
approaches were needed to offer a different way to produce metal parts for
prototyping and in production.
That’s where Desktop Metal comes in.
Join us for an in-depth look at the Desktop Metal workflow from
3D model all the way to a finished printed part.
For more information,
visit our website here or contact us via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Manufacturers can drastically reduce lead times, reduce labor costs, and increase overall efficiency through the use of robotics at several stages in their workflow, each performing a different function. While each function serves a unique purpose specific to the task it will execute, they all utilize an essential component known as End-of-Arm tooling (EOAT).
Traditionally, companies that produce EOAT have used extruded aluminum, or machined aluminum frames, often making them heavy and cumbersome. One manufacturer however, has found a solution to reduce weight without sacrificing strength or durability, using 3D printing.
Download the case study to learn more about additive manufacturing’s place on the factory floor, and how you can use it to eliminate the need for heavy and overly complex parts.
Create parts that are 50% lighter, and designed based on your needs, not limited by your manufacturing process.
We are very pleased to announce that PADT is part of another successful Federal grant with ASU in the area of Additive Manufacturing. This is the second funded research effort we have been part of in the past twelve months and also our second America Makes funded project.
It is another great example of PADT’s cooperation with ASU and other local businesses and also shows how Arizona is becoming a hub for innovation around this important and growing technology.
Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML.
You can find links to our other recent research grants here:
If you have any questions about, additive manufacturing or this project, reach out to email@example.com or call 480.813.4884.
$800,000 in Matching Funds Appointed to ASU, PADT and Other Partners by America Makes for the Advancement of 3D Printing Post-Processing Techniques
This Grant Marks PADT’s Second Federally Funded Project in the Past Year, and its Second America Makes Funded Project in the Past Two Years
TEMPE, Ariz., January 24, 2019 ─ PADT, a globally recognized provider of numerical simulation, product development, and 3D printing products and services, has announced it has joined ASU in a Directed Project Opportunity to advance post-processing techniques used in additive manufacturing (AM). The project is being funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division and driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM).
ASU was one of two awardees that received a combined $1.6M with at least $800K in matching funds from the awarded project teams for total funding worth roughly $2.4M. ASU will lead the project, while PADT, Quintus Technologies, and Phoenix Heat Treating, Inc. have joined to support the project.
“Our ongoing partnership with ASU has allowed us to perform critical research into the advancement of 3D printing,” said Rey Chu, principal and co-founder, PADT. “We are honored to be involved with this project and look forward to applying our many years of technical expertise in 3D printing post-processing.”
The goal of this research is to yield essential gains in process control, certified processes, and the qualification of materials and parts to drive post-processing costs down and make 3D printing more accessible. PADT will be responsible for providing geometry scanning capabilities, as well as technical expertise.
PADT has deep experience in 3D printing post-processing techniques due to the development of its proprietary Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA), the best-selling post-processing hardware on the market. Initially released in November 2008, more than 12,500 SCA systems have sold to-date. The SCA system was awarded a U.S. patent in October 2018.
This grant will be the second federally funded research project in 2018 which teams PADT and ASU to advance 3D printing innovation and adoption. The first project received a $127,000 NASA STTR grant and is aimed at accelerating biomimicry research, the study of 3D printing objects that resemble strong and light structures found in nature such as honeycombs.
For more information on PADT and its background in 3D printing post-processing, please visit www.padtinc.com.
About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies
Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long-term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 80 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.
With the substantial growth of more advanced manufacturing technologies over the past decade, the engineering world has seen additive manufacturing lead the way towards the future of innovation.
While the process of additive manufacturing, has proven to yield valuable results that can drastically reduce lead time and overall cost, without an effective design and an in-depth understanding of the process behind it end users of the tool will struggle to achieve the high-quality results they initially envisioned.
PADT’s Principle and Co-Owner Eric Miller sat down with David Budiac of Software Connect to discuss the use of software when it comes to Additive Manufacturing, including integrating MES & QMS into your process, specific steps for ensuring success with AM software.
Check out the blog post featuring notes from their discussion here.
You can also view a recording of PADT’s webinar discussing design for Additive Manufacturing below:
One of the great new features in ANSYS Mechanical 19.2 is
the ability to perform a lattice optimization.
Accomplished as an option within Topology Optimization, lattice
optimization allows us to generate a lattice structure within our region of
interest. It includes varying thickness
of the lattice members as part of the optimization.
Lattice structures can be very beneficial because weight can
be substantially reduced compared to solid parts made using traditional
manufacturing methods. Further, recent
advances in additive manufacturing enable the creation of lattice structures in
ways that weren’t possible with traditional manufacturing.
Here I’ll explain how to perform a lattice optimization in
ANSYS 19.2 step by step.
For the lattice optimization, I’m starting with a part I
created that acts as a corner brace:
At this early point in the simulation, the Project Schematic
looks like this:
I used the Multizone mesh method to get a hex mesh on the
Simple loads and constraints are recommended especially if
you’ll be doing a downstream validation study.
That is because the downstream simulation on the resulting lattice
geometry will most likely need to operate on the FE entities rather than
geometric entities for load and constraint application. The boundary conditions
in this simple model consisted of a fixed support on one side of the brace and
a force load on the other side:
After solving, I reviewed the displacement as well as the
Satisfied with the results, the next step is to add a
Topology Optimization block in the Project Schematic. The easiest way to do
this is to right click on the Solution cell, then select Transfer Data to New
> Topology Optimization:
You may need to re-solve the static structural simulation at
this point. You’ll know if you have
yellow thunderbolts in the Project Schematic instead of green checkmarks for
the Static Structural analysis.
At this point, the Project Schematic now looks like this:
The Mechanical window now has the Topology Optimization
The change to make to enable a lattice optimization is
accomplished in the details view of the Optimization Region branch:
We then need to specify some settings for the lattice. The first of these is the Lattice Type. The various types are documented in the ANSYS
19.2 Help. In my example I selected the
The other properties to define are:
Minimum Density (to avoid lattice structures that are toothin. Allowed bounds are 0 and 1)
Maximum Density (elements are considered full/solid fordensities higher than this value, allowed bounds are 0 and 1)
Lattice Cell Size (used in downstream geometry steps andadditive manufacturing)
Values I used in my example are shown here:
Assuming no other options need to be set, we solve the
lattice optimization and review the results.
The results are displayed as a contour plot with values between zero and
one, with values corresponding to the density settings as specified above.
Note that at this stage we don’t actually visualize the
lattice structure – just a contour plot of where the lattice can be in the
structure. Where density values are
higher than the maximum density specified, the geometry will end up being
solid. The lattice structure can exist
where the results are between the minimum and maximum density values specified,
with a varying thickness of lattice members corresponding to higher and lower
The next step is to bring the lattice density information
into SpaceClaim and generate actual lattice geometry. This is done by adding a free standing
Geometry block in the Workbench Project Schematic.
The next step is to drag and drop the Results cell from the
Topology Optimization block onto the Geometry cell of the new free standing
The Project Schematic will now look like this:
Notice the Results cell in the Topology Optimization branch
now has a yellow lightning bolt. The
next step is to right click on that Results cell and Update. The Project Schematic will now look like
Before we can open SpaceClaim, we next need to right click
on the Geometry cell in the downstream Geometry block and Update that as well:
After both Updates, the Project Schematic will now look like
The next step is to double click or right click on the
now-updated Geometry cell to open SpaceClaim.
Note that both the original geometry and a faceted version of the
geometry will exist in SpaceClaim:
It may seem counter intuitive, but we actually suppress the
faceted geometry and only work with the original, solid geometry for the
faceted process. The faceted geometry
should be automatically suppressed, as shown by the null symbol, ø, in the SpaceClaim tree. At this point it will be helpful to hide the
faceted geometry by unchecking its box in the tree:
Next we’ll utilize some capability in the Facets menu in
SpaceClaim to create the lattice geometry, using the lattice distribution calculated
by the lattice optimization. Click on
the Facets tab, then click on the Shell button:
Set the Infill option to be Basic:
At this point there should be a check box for “Use Density
Attributes” below the word Shape. This
check box doesn’t always appear. If it’s
not there, first try clicking on the actual geometry object in the tree:
In one instance I had to go to %appdata%\Ansys and rename
the v192 folder to v192.old to reset Workbench preferences and launch Workbench
again. That may have been ‘pilot error’
on my part as I was learning the process.
The next step is to check the Use density attributes
box. The Shape dropdown should be set to
Lattices. Once the Use density
attributes box is checked, we can then one of the predefined lattice shapes,
which will be used for downstream simulation and 3D printing. The shape picked needs to match the lattice
shape previously picked in the topology optimization.
In my case I selected the Cube Lattice with Side Diagonal
Supports, which corresponds to the Crossed selection I made in the upsteam
lattice optimization. Note that a planar
preview of this is displayed inside the geometry:
The next step is to click the green checkmark to have
SpaceClaim create the lattice geometry based on the lattice distribution
calculated by the lattice optimization:
When SpaceClaim is done with the lattice geometry
generation, you should be able to see a ghosted image showing the lattice
structure in the part’s interior:
Note that if you change views, etc., in SpaceClaim, you may
then see the exterior surfaces of the part, but rest assured the lattice
structure remains in the interior.
Your next step may need to be a validation. To do this, we create a standalone Static
Structural analysis block on the Project Schematic:
Next we drag and drop the Geometry cell from the faceted
geometry block we just created onto the Geometry cell of the newly created
Static Structural block:
We can now open Mechanical for the new Static Structural
analysis. Note that the geometry that
comes into Mechanical in this manner will have a single face for the exterior,
and a single face for the exterior. To verify that the lattice structure is
actually in the geometry, I recommend creating a section plane so we can view
the interior of the geometry:
To mesh the lattice structure, I’ve found that inserting a
Mesh Method and setting it to the Tetrahedrons/Patch Independent option has
worked for getting a reasonable mesh.
Care must be taken with element sizes or a very large mesh will be
created. My example mesh has about 500,000
nodes. This is a section view, showing
the mesh of the interior lattice structure (relatively coarse for the example).
For boundary condition application, I used Direct FE
loads. I used a lasso pick after aligned
the view properly to select the nodes needed for the displacement and then the
force loads, and created Named Selections for each of those nodal selections
for easy load application.
Here are a couple of results plots showing a section view
with the lattice in the interior (deflection followed by max principal stress):
Here is a variant on the lattice specifications, in which
the variance in the thickness of the lattice members (a result of the
optimization) is more evident:
Clearly, a lot more could be done with the geometry in
SpaceClaim before a validation step or 3D printing. However, hopefully this step by step guide is
helpful with the basic process for performing a lattice optimization in ANSYS
Mechanical and SpaceClaim 19.2.
In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Specialist Mechanical Engineer, Joe Woodward to discuss how eigenvalue buckling can effect the load factor of a structure, and what applications it has for a variety of different projects. All that, followed by an update on news and events in the respective worlds of ANSYS and PADT.
For more information on this topic and some visual representation of what is being discussed, check out the blog post that inspired this episode here:
If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear from you!
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