How Is Integrated Computational Materials Design Applied to Additive Manufacturing Parameter Sets?

  • Post category:In the News

Questek Innovations LLC - Logo

Metal AM, the magazine for the metal additive manufacturing industry, recently featured QuesTek in an article titled, “QuesTek’s ICMD: Faster, cheaper and better alloy development for Additive Manufacturing.” (Page 117.)

Ahead QuesTek’s participation in the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference in Chicago running March 19-23, we thought we’d highlight a section of the article that shows how our proprietary Integrated Computational Materials Design (ICMD®) technology is applied to AM parameter sets.

AMUG brings together engineers, designers, managers, and educators from around the world to share expertise, best practices, challenges, and application developments in additive manufacturing. We’re excited to share ICMD® with them, a revolutionary cloud-based software for materials design that is currently undergoing beta testing ahead of general availability for subscriptions later this year.

This excerpt from Metal AM highlights just one of its many capabilities.

In additive manufacturing processes, to model metal pool dynamics, QuesTek creates a testing matrix of various laser speeds, power, and hatch distances. Once the samples are made (specific to the machine and alloy), we measure the melt pool characteristics, including width and penetration depths. With that, we can predict the optimal machine parameters. We can model weld balling, key holing, and lack of fusion defects for both hatch and depth. Using those process calibrated models, we generate a processing map to identify the optimal parameter set in the tradeoff between throughput and part quality. The Figure below shows an example of an ICMD® produced printability map. The area in gray would be considered the optimal processing range.

Printability map of material suitability for AM produced using ICMD
Printability map of material suitability for AM produced using ICMD®. Map shows defect formation as a function of laser parameters.

The understanding of how this printability map is created provides processing guidance in both directions. Once a process is established, one can look at a raw material input change (let’s say a new material lot with different chemistry) and determine how that new material chemistry might respond at the established parameters without even sample printing. This is a great tool for overall quality control and incoming raw material disposition.

Development of a parameter set with a traditional DOE approach could take well over a year to complete, focusing only on density and keyhole defects. The ICMD® approach by QuesTek takes only several weeks to a few months and creates data and models that can later be used to produce answers to more complex questions such as fatigue life, making our technology uniquely suited to address industry challenges in a fraction of the time.

Read the full article on page 117 of the latest issue of Metal AM to learn more about how QuesTek’s s ICMD® platform is enabling faster, cheaper and more successful development of new alloys for metal Additive Manufacturing, as well as the build parameters to process them.

To discuss how QuesTek and ICMD® can support your organization’s materials design and product development needs, or to connect at AMUG 2023, please contact Severine Valdant, Chief Commercial Officer, at