MSC Software and MIG partner on microstructure simulation for Additive Manufacturing

MSC Software, Newport Beach, California, USA, and the
Materials Innovation Guild (MIG) at the University of Louisville, Kentucky,
USA, have launched a new research collaboration focused on advancing Additive
Manufacturing technologies through microstructure simulation. Through the
MIG, the University of Louisville assists organisations such as NASA and Boeing
in the development of Additive Manufacturing programmes, as well as training
future engineers in new design and production techniques.

Under the partnership, MSC Software will support the
university’s on-site and distance learning by supplying software and training.
Start-ups in the university’s 3D Printing Business Incubator will also have
access to MSC Software products in conjunction with education in the
techno-economic aspects of AM to enhance its competitiveness in product and
manufacturing design.

The consistency of material properties in new designs remains
a barrier to the adoption of AM in high-performance and high-reliability
applications. MIG research will use MSC Software’s Simufact and Digimat
modelling and simulation platforms to understand the fundamental materials
properties and microstructure in metal powders, polymers and composites, and
how to exploit the relationship between materials and design in AM. 

Dr Sundar Atre, Endowed Chair of Manufacturing and Materials
at the MIG commented, “By integrating MSC’s Simufact and Digimat platforms into
MIG’s research and teaching initiatives, I believe we will provide the
opportunity to introduce new material, design and product innovations in
healthcare, defence and transportation.”

The MIG is currently collaborating with NASA on a new metal
Fused Filament Fabrication process which it calls MF3. MF3 will be simulated in
the Digimat-AM product as part of the collaboration. Dr Kunal Kate, Assistant
Professor at the University of Louisville, explained, “MF3 or similar
powder-binder based 3D printing processes require post-processing steps of
debinding and sintering, that are currently subject to trial-and-error
experiments. Combining experimental research with the capabilities of MSC
Software can develop new tools that predict 3D printed part material properties
and effectively capture post debinding and sintering effects for powder-polymer
based 3D printing,”

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