Component simulation


Computer simulation and the technologies of Rapid Prototyping/ Rapid Tooling (RP/RT) have great potential for cost and time savings in industrial product development and are therefore becoming increasingly important. Even before a product, for example a newly developed machine component, is actually manufactured, the entire development process can be optimized quickly and cost-effectively. In a further step the RP/RT can also be used to produce first prototypes, small series or tool inserts for various manufacturing processes. In addition to the simulation, a complete real component verification and optimization is also possible.

Topology optimization - design of components according to load

Additive processes offer a simple way to produce so-called topology-optimized structures. Topology optimization here means the design, simulation and production of graded cellular structures for mechanically loaded components with high stiffness and low weight. Material is only built up where it is needed under load. Among other things, the processes are based on optimized distributions of different material properties in the component.

Component simulation

In the product development process, the Fraunhofer Competence Field Additive Manufacturing relies on virtual simulation techniques that cover the entire range from statics to dynamics. In addition, we develop tools with which transient, highly nonlinear calculations, such as drop test, load and failure analyses, can also be performed. Within the CAD-based simulation platform, individual components and even large assemblies can thus be handled very easily and efficiently. Special modules for calculation during the design process allow even sporadic users to check their designs and ideas directly at the CAD workstation.

Current developments

Complex internal structures

This is where additive manufacturing processes and systems can score particularly well: with their almost complete freedom with regard to the producible geometry - especially inside a component. Thus, for example, internal geometries can be produced that serve to save weight while maintaining mechanical strength. It is also conceivable to reproduce the human bone structure or to create reservoirs in implants for long-term medication. These processes are also suitable for the production of components with near-contour cooling channels, for example in injection molding tools, but honeycomb-like structures for flow guidance can also be produced. Internal, repeating geometries to increase the internal surface area can be produced with this process, for example to improve energy or mass transfer in heat recovery or filtration equipment.

Simulation for lightweight structures

A load- and weight-optimized design of complexly structured lightweight components is often only achieved by using suitable simulation tools. This allows the influence of various initial and operating parameters on component behavior to be investigated and optimized at an early stage. Modeling and simulation verifies design and production-suitable solutions already during the development phase and prevents planning errors that cause high follow-up costs and time delays. Special modeling and simulation tools allow us to efficiently describe mathematical calculation and model functions, provide access to static, dynamic or real measurement data and display the model results graphically.

Our services

Simulation of the construction - Virtual commissioning of machines and plants

The virtual commissioning of a machine or a completely automated system offers the advantage of testing and optimizing the control software already during the design and development phase. The basis for this is a real-time simulation that mimics the behavior of the entire machine design or individual components. The Fraunhofer Competence Field Additive Manufacturing offers concepts, tools and methods for the development of such system models on this basis, which offer you a number of advantages

- Short development times through software development on the machine/system model

- Quality assurance of the control software

- Further use of functional models.

Testing and validation

In many industries today, standard products from various CAD modular systems are used. However, the last components that have the actual contact with the product are manufactured at great expense and effort, either individually for each product or in single pieces or very small series.

The use of additive manufacturing processes not only improves the quality of partial functionalities selectively, but also allows the direct production of entire functional assemblies that are ready for use without further assembly steps.