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.
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.