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GPI Prototype & Manufacturing Services

Zoubida El Hachemi and Keren Ludomirski Zait

Stratasys announced that it is collaborating with e-Xstream engineering to deliver high performance process modeling and structural analysis numerical tools for Stratasys additive manufacturing solutions.

The combination of Stratasys additive manufacturing solutions with e-Xstream’s accurate, effective numerical tools is designed to offer customers high-performance design and validation capabilities. These include increased material understanding and greater dimensional accuracy of 3D printed parts to optimize output results and expand the aperture of applications. By doing so, our aim to increase the adoption of Stratasys 3D printing technology in key manufacturing sectors, including aerospace and automotive, is further facilitated.

“Stratasys recognizes the importance of simulation and modeling as a way for customers to optimize part production by designing with additive in mind, while ensuring that the material and process will deliver ‘print right the first time’ assurance,” said Scott Sevcik, VP Manufacturing Solutions at Stratasys.

Central to the collaboration is the objective to develop predictive simulation solutions for Stratasys’ Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology to enable the production of tighter tolerance, higher performance parts. This is aimed at being achieved in conjunction with e-Xstream engineering’s standalone material modeling platform, Digimat, which offers a self-contained module to enable a flexible interface that is accessible for basic to advanced level designers, as well as other users across multiple manufacturing based workflows.

Core functions of the collaboration comprise:

  • Process simulation applied to the design-to-3D-print workflow to achieve the high accuracy and repeatability required by manufacturing users. Advanced numerical tools are needed to predict and mitigate part warpage as well as realize the impact of design decisions on the manufacturing process before the part is produced.

  • Material engineering to create a framework and methodology for characterization by understanding the key parameters driving the material’s behavior. This framework will support the accelerated development and optimization of future material system solutions.

  • Part performance predictions that are applied daily to complete the engineering workflow for traditional manufacturing processes, providing the product designer with an accurate early design. The extension of Digimat’s structural analysis solution for FDM will predict part performance (stiffness, strength, etc.) as a function of the material and the printing process parameters, such as printing direction or toolpath.

“For engineers to unlock the design freedom that additive manufacturing offers, they need tools for accurate and effective analysis. We are happy to be collaborating with simulation leaders, such as e-Xstream, whose customized tools are a key contributor to enabling additive manufacturing to become a high-performance production technology,” continued Sevcik.

Further to the collaboration, the next release of e-Xstream’s material modeling platform, Digimat, will deliver the first material models of ULTEM™ 9085 resin, a strong, lightweight thermoplastic meeting aerospace requirements, with a complete process package for the Stratasys Fortus 900mc Production 3D Printer. Customers are provided the numerical tools necessary to perform both process simulation and structural analysis by feeding critical process information from Stratasys’ pre-processing software, Insight, to Digimat’s AM module.

“We are very excited about this collaboration, which we believe will enable Stratasys customers to benefit from e-Xstream’s polymer multi-scale modeling expertise to improve the way they design for manufacturing,” said Roger Assaker, CEO of e-Xstream engineering, Chief Material Strategist of MSC Software.

“The ability to foresee the influence of designs on part printing and performance should enable users to save time and reduce costs by improving overall accuracy, reliability and workflow efficiencies,” he concluded.

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