Optimization of Supports in Metal-Based Additive Manufacturing by Means of Finite Element Models

Krol, T.A.
Zach, F.
Seidel, C.
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University of Texas at Austin

Metal-based additive manufacturing processes require a supporting of overhanging part areas during the powder solidification e. g. for improving the heat dissipation to the substrate. Technology users nowadays strive to reduce support areas due to economical aspects, while simultaneously enhancing the process stability by maximizing the support stiffness. For the simplification and acceleration of this support design procedure, the presented work describes a methodology for optimizing support structures by means of finite element models. Thereby, the main approaches are covering a fractal adaptation of the support layout and an optimization of block supports depending on the calculation results. The presented methods were applied by using experimental components.