Binder Jetting of 316L process simulation tools evaluation
Binder Jetting has become one of the most popular Additive Manufacturing technologies over the years due to its low cost and fast production times, nevertheless this technology has a steep learning curve due to the shrinkage induced to parts during sintering. Since shrinkage is not uniform along the part, it’s hard to efficiently determine what areas will be distorted hence this needs to be taken into consideration when designing a new part and many iterations need to be printed until dimensional accuracy is achieved, as a result production time and cost significantly increase. New Binder Jetting simulation tools are being developed and tested; this software will help the technology be more robust and user-friendly for the industry. The software computes a sintering simulation and can provide displacement results making support positioning more efficient, in addition, newer versions of the software can export a compensated model which will be able to be sintered without supports. To evaluate the simulation software, a dimensional test artifact model was designed and printed, then compared with the software predicted model simulation results. The simulation software was used in an initial evaluation of the test artifact geometry to identify areas of concern in the model and document them so efficiency when predicting material behavior during the sintering process can be evaluated. In addition, an evaluation of the effects of different sintering process parameters on the physical and mechanical properties of the material will be analyzed considering the inert sintering atmosphere of the process. Finally, printing parameters of the machine such as layer thickness, binder saturation, and recoat speed among others will also be evaluated.