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  • Writer's pictureMariam Mir

AM Simulation: Distortion-compensation based on 3D Scans.

Distortion compensation based on 3D scan data is manifesting its crucial role in refining the precision of additively manufactured components. During the additive manufacturing process, distortions may occur due to factors such as thermal effects, residual stresses, or material variations. By leveraging 3D scanning technology, users can capture the actual geometrical deviations of the fabricated part from the intended design. Utilizing scan data enables the development of distortion compensation strategies, where adjustments to the original CAD model can be made to account for the observed distortions.

Below, we have outlined the workflow of how to create distortion-compensated geometries via 3D-scan data.

The first step in performing distortion compensation with AdditiveLabRESEARCH involves acquiring and importing the additively manufactured component's CAD and 3D scan data. 

The above picture shows the original CAD part and the 3D scan of the additively manufactured part in the AdditiveLabRESEARCH software.

Following the import, the alignment of the 3D scan with the CAD geometry is performed. This alignment process ensures accurate registration between the digital design and the physical scan, laying the foundation for precise deviation analysis.

The above picture shows the aligned 3D scan with the original CAD part. Local deviations of the manufactured part (3D scan) can be seen where the blue regions do not perfectly overlap with the white surfaces from the CAD part.

After alignment, the software enables users to perform deviation analysis (=surface comparison analysis) by comparing the scanned data to the original CAD model. Deviations are identified and quantified, providing valuable insights into the discrepancies that need to be addressed during the compensation process.

The above image shows the results of the deviation analysis. The colors indicate the severity of the deviations and where the design has the largest mismatch between the intended CAD and manufactured geometry.

With the distortion analysis completed, the AdditiveLabRESEARCH allows users to utilize compensation strategies. This includes automatically pre-deforming the CAD design or making adjustments to the original CAD model based on the identified distortions. Both allow for effectively compensating for the discrepancies observed in the additively manufactured part.

The above image shows the 3D scan-based counter-deformed part (scaling exaggerated factor of 10) and the original CAD design in the background (black)

The compensated CAD model can be exported and can be used for subsequent manufacturing iterations. This 3D scan-based counter-deformation procedure ensures that the final components align closely with the intended CAD design specifications, ultimately improving the overall accuracy and quality of additively manufactured products. Furthermore, this method presents a time-effective alternative and complimentary tool to AM process simulation when 3D scan data is available.

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