Development of Simulation Tools for Selective Laser Melting Additive Manufacturing

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Nolan, Thomas
Lian, Yongsheng
Sussman, Mark

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University of Texas at Austin


Two simulations tools have been developed to simulate selective laser melting. One is based on a multiphase flow solver with dynamic mesh adaptation and massive parallelism. The simulation tool is based on a first-principles approach to simulate complex additive manufacturing processes at the entire built part/component level. The developed model takes into account of heating, melting, powder-to-solid volumetric consolidation, cooling, as well as solidification and shrinkage that are often ignored in current simulation tools. The second tool is to solve the heat equation only without considering the flow field and volumetric changes. In both tools laser is modeled as a heat source. The reported work is our first step toward the development of a complete software suite that can be executed rapidly on workstations and clusters with accelerators. The simulation tool can provide AM practitioners and researchers from industry and academic a fast and accurate simulation-based approach to replace current trial-and-error based practices in industry for process and material development.


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