Science in the Age of Experience

 May 15-18, 2017 • Chicago, IL



AM Challenge 1: Metal Powder Bed Printing of a Thin-walled Column


Additive Manufacturing processes allow for the fabrication of complex parts that provide shortened manufacturing cycle. In the past, this technology was primarily used to create prototypes for parts which were made using traditional manufacturing methods. This gave rise to the term Rapid Prototyping. However, this technology has evolved from prototyping to manufacturing production-ready functional parts.

Figure 1. Thin-walled tube with a square cross section made of Ti-6Al-4V

Problem Statement

Thin-walled structures are used heavily in automotive and aerospace industries. However, due to the thin-walled and slender geometry, distortion becomes a big concern when being additively manufactured. Participants are invited to use predictive simulation tools to analyze the effect of part design, support structure design, printing process parameters such as build orientation and etc. to the part tolerance. The part to analyze here is a thin-walled tube with a square cross section made of Ti-6Al-4V (Figure 1). Reference support structures span over the entire length of the tube, with multiple intermediate gaps. The part shows noticeable distortion as printed by the metal powder bed printing process. Participants will use the simulation tools provided to predict the overall thermal profile and distortions of the final printed parts, with which modify the design and process so that the part as printed is closest to the as-designed part.  

Evaluation criteria

  • Reduce part distortion as printed
  • Lower print time and cost
  • Improve manufacturability and mass production

Details for this AM challenge such as part geometry, material data, loading and boundary conditions for thermal mechanical analysis, build plate and environmental conditions will be emailed to Hackathon registrants one month prior to the Hackathon.