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From January 2019, Siemens will be integrating the Simcenter 3D Additive Manufacturing Process Simulation into its NX software for additive manufacturing processes. The solution is intended to prevent distortion of 3D printed metal workpieces before they are even made. The software produces a digital twin of the object to be produced and determines if and where distortions could occur in the course of production. It then generates an optimized model that compensates for the discrepancies identified and should thus deliver the best possible printing results. The simulation counteracts problems that can occur as a result of localized melting of individual printed layers as a result of the heat generated during 3D metal printing. As a result, the workpieces do not achieve the quality required or the printing process fails completely.

Process simulations for avoiding defects in advance of a 3D printing process are essentially nothing new: EOS and Additive Works are working together to develop the Amphyon software package, which is also designed to prepare for additive manufacturing based on simulation.