Repeatability and reproducibility are key parameters if additive manufacturing (AM) is going to be trusted for common use in manufacturing. AM must prove that it can ensure part performance, consistency, and quality. This requires deep understanding of process parameters and their impact on the material.
A number of software programs are coming to help developers and users deliver these needed data. One example is Granta Design, which announced its enhanced GRANTA MI:Additive Manufacturing software package to manage, analyze, and apply materials and process information for the development and production of additively-manufactured parts.
The program’s graphical analysis tools plot material properties and process parameters against one another to identify trends. Users can manage and compare data from both experiments and simulation. Workflow features enable controlled processes—example applications range from supporting build and test management for a specific project, to implementing request and approval processes enterprise-wide.
MI:Additive Manufacturing is a package of tools built on the GRANTA MI materials information management system. It includes a data structure (‘schema’) and information management capabilities that enable users to capture the full picture and manage data related to powders, builds, machine parameters, parts, and tests. They can consolidate this data, browse it through a fast web interface, and share it across their organization with controlled access.
The GRANTA MI:Mat Analyzer enables advanced plotting and graphical analysis of additive manufacturing information stored in GRANTA MI. Use the app to create multi-dimensional plots and relationship charts. Visualize and understand vital relationships between material properties and additive manufacturing process parameters. This insight can be used to modify process parameters for optimal results.
The MI:Additive Manufacturing package can integrate with a range of AM machines, including those from EOS, Arcam, and Renishaw. Granta also provides access to the Senvol Database, a reference resource, to search and compare materials based on properties, type, or compatible machines.
When implementing GRANTA MI to support AM projects, the Granta Design Services team configures the available tools and technology to the exact needs of the project. Two recent examples are: creating a tool to handle specialized powder material management, taking account of blending and recycling effects; and building a parameter-set development tool, which manages the optimized process parameters. These tools and the expertise that built them are available for use by other clients.
Granta is actively participating in developing industry standards in AM, ensuring that the Granta schema is up to date and ready to manage and report data according to standards (e.g., ASTM F42) for future qualification or certification. The system can be configured to generate automated qualification reports.
Granta Design Ltd