Published in Rapid Prototyping Journal Vol. 23 (2), pp.448-463, 2017.
In this work the numerical simulation of Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes is addressed. The numerical results are compared with the experimental campaign carried out at SKLSP laboratories, where a Laser Solid Forming (LSF) machine, also referred to as Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS), is used to fabricate metal parts directly from CAD models. Ti-6Al-4V metal powder is injected into the molten pool created by a focused, high-energy laser beam and a layer of added material is sinterized according to the laser scanning pattern speciÖed by the user. The objectives of this paper are twofold: Örstly, this work is intended to calibrate the software for the numerical simulation of the AM process, to achieve high accuracy. Secondly, the sensitivity of the numerical model to the process parameters and modelling data is analysed. The numerical model adopts an apropos FE activation technology, which reproduces the same scanning pattern set for the numerical control system of the AM machine. This consists of a complex sequence of polylines, used to deÖne the contour of the component, and hatches patterns to Öll the inner section. The full sequence is given through the Common Layer Interface (CLI) format, a standard format for di§erent manufacturing processes such as Rapid Prototyping (RP), Shape Metal Deposition (SMD) or machining processes, among others. The result is a layer-by-layer metal deposition which can be used to build-up complex structures for components such as turbine blades, aircraft sti§eners, cooling systems, or medical implants, among others.
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