NX

NX AM Build Optimizer

Optimize your 3D print orientation to maximize print quality

Visual of Build Optimizer.

Why NX AM Build Optimizer?

Reduce the obstacles of build preparation through simulation and parallel processing in the cloud with NX Additive Manufacturing (AM) Build Optimizer. Quality issues are extremely expensive when printing metal parts, but alleviating them no longer needs to be a challenge.

Optimize print orientation
Automatically generate the optimal part print orientation for maximum quality. Optimal orientations can be created for minimum distortion, support volume, support removal and build time.

Utilize the power of parallel processing
Examine over 100 different part orientations in parallel, and then get the optimal orientation as well as an optimization report including cost estimates. You can use this to make the best decisions possible when setting up your additive manufacturing build.

Use in the cloud or stand-alone
NX Build Optimizer is available as a stand-alone ITAR-compliant cloud solution, or integrated into NX where results from the optimization flow directly into the NX AM Fixed-Plane solution's build setup process.

Get advanced prediction of future print errors as well as solutions for:

  • ITAR compliant cloud parallel processing of orientation simulation runs
  • Generation of support structures for printing
  • Analysis of over 100 orientation simulation runs in parallel
  • Visual mapping of total distortion, distortion due to residual stresses and distortion due to the print process
  • Cost estimations accounting for total sintered material used, and total print time required

Featured capabilities

Thermal circuit network

The user interface for NX AM Build Optimizer that defines the simulation parameters.

The NX AM Build Optimizer relies on the speed and efficiency of its patent-pending Thermal Circuit Network (TCN) to not only simulate the build, but to provide the one, optimal orientation to yield a successful build. The TCN is so computationally efficient it can calculate the optimal orientation based on thermal distortion on 100 simulations faster than some competing products can simulate distortion on one.

The TCN efficiently models the entire build process, layer by layer, including supports. The TCN then segments the build process into large segments and groups those segments together into thermally similar groups. These groups are then treated like nodes in a Thermal Circuit Network with characteristics of capacitance and resistance. Orientations are then modeled using progressive intelligence modeling to arrive at the optimal orientation.

Optimization options

The results of orientation optimization resulting from different input options.

NX AM Build Optimizer allows you to prioritize your requirements from near zero distortion and longer print times to more tolerable distortion with shorter print times. You can generate multiple optimizations in a single job so you can easily understand and decide between various outcomes.

Example optimizations include:

  • Minimum build time
  • Minimal support structure volume
  • Minimal support removal
  • Minimal distortion

Support generation

A part with support structures generated by the NX AM Build Optimizer.

NX AM Build Optimizer finds the optimal orientation to enable successful builds and automatically generates supports. These supports are designed to be strong enough to sufficiently hold the part down and dissipate the thermal effects from printing, but easy enough to remove by hand or pliers. The supports generated by NX AM Build Optimizer do not trap powder and are customizable.

Occasionally, supports are not desired in specific areas on a part, for example, if a part has critical features that need to be exposed to the laser or if a part specifically needs to be facing upward. NX AM Build Optimizer allows you to limit support attachment by restricting orientation ranges so that critical features face upward and are not supported. Based on this restriction, the software will then computationally determine the optimal orientation and generate appropriate supports.

Reporting

An example costing report from NX Build Optimizer.

NX AM Build Optimizer gives you actionable data about the expected results of your printing process through reporting and visual feedback.

Visual feedback provides insight into the exact distortion that will occur on any given area of the part. This accuracy allows you to know of any possible issues that might occur as a result of a design flaw before printing. Visual feedback includes insight into total distortion after support removal, distortion due to residual stress post-support removal, and distortion due to the build process.

Cost reporting is also available as an output from the NX AM Build Optimizer process. The most important factor in knowing the cost of a build is to determine the total print time, which is directly related to the orientation that is used. It is not uncommon for some orientations to result in half of the build time of others, but without tools like NX AM Build Optimizer, you are left guessing as to whether the faster print time will meet the tolerance specified. This is why our software automatically determines the optimal orientation, accounts for total sintered material used, and calculates total print time required. This provides significant value, helping you to ensure every print is competitively priced and profitable.

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