Correlated thermo-mechanical and topology optimization models

This research program addresses the challenges of process optimization through modeling and simulation. Key quality indicators for AM-made parts include: dimensional tolerances, residual stresses/deformation, residual porosity (volume fraction/size/distribution), microstructure (phase content, grain size/morphology/distribution), chemistry and surface finish. The vast number of interdependent process parameters in AM significantly limits the efficacy of a conventional trial-and-error approach to process optimization and design.

Advanced multi-physics numerical models of various AM technologies developed at MSAM are being enhanced and validated to offer the potential to significantly compliment the conventional trial-and-error method, leading to breakthroughs in process optimization and technology development.

In addition, different materials and different AM processes pose different manufacturing constraints on the lattice structures that can be obtained with acceptable quality. There is a critical need to link lattice structure design with AM capabilities and constraints to ensure that the designed lattice structure can be achieved for a given process technology and meet the designed objectives. MSAM researchers are working on this important research topic.