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  • Writer's pictureMariam Mir

Additive Manufacturing Simulation - To Baseplate or Not To Baseplate.

Simulation of Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes is not a new topic anymore. Particularly in larger companies, AM simulation has become an integral part of the AM process chain. The more engineers are involved in simulation, the more discussions arise about proper modeling and simulation techniques, as well as consideration of process-specific characteristics. One of the discussions we have been exposed to was whether the building plate should be part of the simulation. To answer this question, we have created a demonstration example of different build configurations on the same baseplate. The one configuration contains a large design taking up the entire platform and the other one contains a series of aligned small size structures. We used the mechanical simulation module of AdditiveLab to perform the simulations and to allow for comparison of the building plate deformation results.

AdditiveLab Metal AM Buildplatfom Simulation

The picture above shows the displacement color plots of the two configurations after the building plate is removed from the machine. The colors indicate the amount of deformation; blue indicates low, green moderate, and red high deformation, respectively. The top configuration with the large design of a rear swing shows significantly higher deformations than the one with the distributed dental fixture parts.

There are a couple of effects that come into play that cause the difference in the final building plate deformation of the two configurations. First, the massive structure of the swing has to dissipate more thermal energy which introduces higher temperature gradients in the plate and subsequently, higher chances of deformations. Secondly, the more dominant cause for the platform deformations is that the larger part deforms globally and “pulls” stronger on the baseplate which leads to higher global deformations of the plate.

There is a tendency that several smaller parts distributed cause less global building plate deformations than a large part. This is crucial since larger deformations of the building plate increase the chances of build failure. With a simple simulation in AdditiveLab, engineers can check their build configurations and determine whether the building platform deformations are critical to their building process.

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