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Metal Sintering Simulation

Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 10:10 am
by Mark H

Is anyone working on distortion simulation during the sintering process such as used in Metal Injection Molding? I have brown part analysis working great and are using topololgy optimization software to reduce weight and that is working great. I can run thermal calculations and get an approximation of what might happen during the sintering process in steel and this works well. I am looking for something similar to what Desktop Metal is doing with what they call Live Sinter. This software basically predicts what the shape should look like to reduce distortion errors or failures during the sintering process. Through trial and error I think I can construct a spreadsheet for this but something that would actually reconstruct the geometry that would best compensate for the distortion would be very useful for myself and others in the Metal 3D printing and MIM world. We are metal printing using BASF Ultrafuse 316L SS material. In this process we 3D FDM print what is known and the green part and then it goes through a debinding process to remove most of the polymer that hold the part together and then it goes into the sintering furnace to basically fuse the metal particles together into a dense part.

Thanks for reading. I can provide the printing and metal parts but need help in developing the simulation stuff.


Re: Metal Sintering Simulation

Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 12:22 pm
by NewJoker
I am working on additive manufacturing process simulations in other software and reading the brand new NAFEMS publication "How to Model the Additive Manufacturing Process" right now. There are four main functionalities that FEA software should have to be able to accurately simulate AM processes and predict various effects that are of importance:
- element activation/birth - to simulate material deposition
- moving heat sources - to simulate material heating
- progressive cooling - to simulate evolving surfaces subjected to convection and radiation
- toolpath-mesh intersection - to detect intersections of the toolpath with mesh

There are also some additional features that can be helpful, such as support for phase transformations and eigenstrain approach.

It would be great to have something like that implemented in FreeCAD but I'm afraid that it would be very hard to realize this.

We could start from welding simulations, they served also as a base for AM simulation capabilities in commercial software. Here's an interesting presentation involving CalculiX (main solver of FreeCAD FEM module): ... lculix.pdf

And here's a document about AM simulations in CalculiX from the same author (I just found it): ... ufacturing

The whole (very interesting) project can be found here: ... r-CalculiX

By the way, this topic would fit more in the general FEM forum than in CfdOF/CFD subforum since OpenFOAM likely won't help us achieve the goals discussed here.

Re: Metal Sintering Simulation

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 12:04 am
by Mark H
Thanks for the reply and information. I will look into the articles you mention. I know it is very difficult to do. Check out Live Sinter from Desktop Metal. There are allot of articles out there on this.