Additive manufacturing comprises all technologies, which build a part layer upon layer on the basis of a three dimensional virtual model. Additive building-up permits complex geometrical shapes which are subject to hardly any restrictions. Due to this property, it is possible to manufacture parts which could not be implemented with conventional manufacturing procedures technologies or only at great expense. In the case of powder bed-based additive manufacturing, individual powder layers are locally melted completely and consolidated by a beam source. There are two common beam sources: electron beams (selective electron beam melting, SEBM) and lasers (selective laser melting, SLM).
In the context of additive manufacturing the group “Modeling and Simulation” focuses on beam-based technologies using a powder bed. Different materials from metals and metal alloys (Ti64, TiAl, IN718) to polymers (PA12) can be applied to the software. The scientific research focuses, in close cooperation with the experimental group “Additive Manufacturing”, on the understanding of the fundamental mechanism during powder melting and material consolidation as well as on the prediction of innovative process strategies regarding porosity, microstructure and alloy concentration.
Besides funding from industry and DFG/EU projects, the development of the simulation software is mainly funded by the collaborative research center SFB 814 “Additive Fertigung” (http://www.sfb814.forschung.uni-erlangen.de/).