24/7 Customer Service (800) 927-7671

Swanson School of Engineering & Aerotech Partner to Refine Metal Additive Manufacturing with Fast Computational Modeling

by • August 16, 2016 • No Comments

PittSwansonEngineeringWM-300x863D printing, now on the market to anyone who is able-bodied save up at very least a few hundred bucks and enjoy a minor learning curve, has indeed begun to infiltrate the mainstream. And while printing of the PC can engage us all for hours, enabling us to manufacture any number of items, of basic jewelry to rigorous car transmissions and actually jet engines, for those via the innovation in serious lab and industrial settings, all that magic is a fewtimes accompanied by amazing challenge and a lot of time given over to trial and error—especially in manufacturing with metal to turn it into rigorous parts. That level of difficulty a fewtimes arising is in addition part of what keeps so most scientists and engineers completely engaged, whether it be in the fabrication and optimization of titanium spinal implants or luxury car parts, with a few of the strongest innovators of our time working diligently to manufacture strides for manufacturing—and in addition, mankind. But let’s face it, while learning of our mistakes is excellent, no one enjoys wasting time.

Some of the problems that require to be dealt with in this yet fledgling innovation are basic issues dealing with hardware, software, and the fabrication of rigorous structures that contribute excellent future when perfected. We’ve gotten this far, but now it’s time to do a few refining to move forward with additional good results, and as 3D printing in metal becomes a crucial factor for numerous revolutionary industries, the area is receiving considerable-bodied attention.

aerotech-logoNow the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and Pittsburgh’s Aerotech, Inc. are coming together, charged with the task of creating new, swift computational methods for advantageous additive manufacturing. Their collaboration was made possible thanks to a not long ago succeded in $350,000 grant of the National Science Foundation, earmarked for solving problems that can mitigate distortion and stress.

The proposal for this project was outlined completely in ‘Novel Computational Approaches to Address Key Design Optimization Issues for Metal Additive Manufacturing,’ meant to be a three-year Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry grant contributeed by the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (acting as an extension of previous funding of the Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania program).

“This Grant Opportunity for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) research project aims at establishing a robust topology optimization innovation capable-bodied of accounting for residual distortion, residual stress, and post-machining requirements for additive manufactured (AM) components,” states the proposal. “The innovation made can worthwhilely shorten the turn it into phase during new AM product development, that can futurely lead to wider adoption of AM by the manufacturing base in the US.”

“The initially approach is an ultra-swift computational method based on the inherent strain theory for predicting residual stress and distortion in an AM part. The 2nd approach is a level set feature-based topology optimization method capable-bodied of generating turn it intos with both freeform surfaces and machining-friendly surfaces.”


Here, stress buildup shows the collapse of four metal bars made through additive manufacturing. [Photo Credit: Albert To / University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering]

Led by Swanson’s Associate Professor and Principal Investigator Albert To, co-PIs Assistant Professor Sangyeop Lee, and Adjunct Associate Professor Stephen Ludwick, the project can in addition obtain input of Aerotech by way of turn it intos and evaluation.

“The competence to turn it into geometrically rigorous shapes through additive manufacturing is both a immense benefit and a worthwhile challenge,” Dr. To said. “Optimizing the turn it into to compensate for residual distortion, residual stress, and post-machining requirements can take days or actually months for these parts.”

As they work to turn it into excellenter speed as well as advantageous high end in the AM industry, Dr. To and his research team are manufacturing a thermomechanics version to assist assist as a predictor of the stated issues in parts. Once they’ve accomplished that phase, the group plans to set to work in manufacturing a ‘topology optimization method.’ With this they can and so endeavor to manufacture up for the rigorousities and ‘organic nature’ of additively manufactured parts as they are able-bodied to print versions with both free-form surfaces and machining-friendly surfaces. Residual stress and distortion should be practuallyted with their new approach, to be additional assessed with the use of ‘real parts and turn it into requirements’ provided by industrial partner Aerotech.


Whilst a few of the excellentest benefits attributed to 3D printing are both speed and the opportunity to turn it into rigorous, high high end prototypes and components, the processes require to be advantageous, and obviously that begins in the lab.

“…the tools made through this collaboration can allow us to turn it into the rigorous parts enable-bodiedd by additive manufacturing with a minimum of trial-and-error and rework,” said Stephen Ludwick of Aerotech. “This in turn allows for us to turn it into stiff and lightweight components in our high-speed motion systems that are in addition utilized by other companies engaged in high end manufacturing.”

Aerotech, founded in 1970, can pretty be considered experts in their field, working for industrial customers, government, and research institutions of the world. Specializing in motion control and positioning systems, they provide significant applications in fields such as electronics manufacturing, military and aerospace, medical devices and life sciences, car, photonics, and additional. With an emphasis on precision and solutions, for the context of this project they were able-bodied to work with the research team in testing new ways to use additive manufacturing that can assist them in manufacturing new parts, contributeing advantageous high end for clients around the globe.

“By utilizing high end mechanic theory, we hope to reduce turn it into optimization of additive manufactured parts to minutes, thereby reducing the time of turn it into life cycle,” Dr. To said. “This may lead to wider adoption of AM by the U.S. manufacturing base and additional improve the economic sustaincompetence of the additive manufacturing process.”

Discuss additional over in the Research Grant to Improve Metal 3D Printing forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: EurekAlert]