This work introduces an innovative parallel, fully-distributed finite element framework for growing geometries and its application to metal additive manufacturing. It is well-known that virtual part design and qualification in additive manufacturing requires highly-accurate multiscale and multiphysics analyses. Only high performance computing tools are able to handle such complexity in time frames compatible with time-to-market. However, efficiency, without loss of accuracy, has rarely held the centre stage in the numerical community. Here, in contrast, the framework is designed to adequately exploit the resources of high-end distributed-memory machines. It is grounded on three building blocks: (1) Hierarchical adaptive mesh refinement with octree-based meshes; (2) a parallel strategy to model the growth of the geometry; (3) state-of-the-art parallel iterative linear solvers. Computational experiments consider the heat transfer analysis at the part scale of the printing process by powder-bed technologies. After verification against a 3D benchmark, a strong-scaling analysis assesses performance and identifies major sources of parallel overhead. A third numerical example examines the efficiency and robustness of (2) in a curved 3D shape. Unprecedented parallelism and scalability were achieved in this work. Hence, this framework contributes to take on higher complexity and/or accuracy, not only of part-scale simulations of metal or polymer additive manufacturing, but also in welding, sedimentation, atherosclerosis, or any other physical problem where the physical domain of interest grows in time.

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Published on 01/01/2019

DOI: 10.1002/nme.6085
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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