Design Engineering

Siemens announces AM process simulation tech for predicting build distortion

Devin Jones   


This simulation is an option when looking towards constructing a ‘first time right’ print.

process simulation

Simcenter 3D AM Process Simulation tool shows how the predicted distortion (on the left) is confirmed by the comparison of the real-world part to the original CAD data on the right. Photo courtesy of Simens.

Siemens recently announced an additive manufacturing (AM) process simulation solution for predicting distortion during 3D printing.

Fully integrated into Siemens’ end-to-end Additive Manufacturing solution, the process simulation uses a digital twin to simulate the build process prior to printing. This allows for anticipated distortion within the printing process therefore automatically generating the corrected geometry to compensate for these distortions.

This type of simulation is an interesting option when looking towards constructing a ‘first time right’ print, and necessary for achieving the efficiencies required of a fully industrialized additive manufacturing process.

“Using the Simcenter process simulation at toolcraft will allow us to complete our additive manufacturing workflow,” said Christoph Hauck, Managing Director, MBFZ toolcraft GmbH. “Through testing, we have gained confidence that the Siemens AM process simulation will assist us in ensuring quality output from our print process.”

When metal parts are 3D printed, the method used to fuse the layers of the print typically involves heat. As the layers build up, the residual heat can cause parts to warp inside the printer, causing various problems, from structural issues within the part itself to print stoppage. Issues such as these cause many prints to fail, making it difficult to achieve a “first-time-right” print. Simulation of the printing process can help to alleviate many of these problems.

Siemens’ process simulation product is integrated into the Powder Bed Fusion Process chain in the Siemens PLM Software AM portfolio and is used to predict distortion for metal printing.

The simulation provides a guided workflow to the user, allowing for the assessment of distortions, prediction of recoater collisions, and predictions of areas overheating. The process simulation solution has the ability to iterate on a solution between the design and build tray setup steps of the workflow, and the simulation step.


The created simulation data feeds into each step of the printing process. This digital backbone enables the system to develop pre-compensated models and to feed those seamlessly back into the model design and manufacturing processes without additional data translation.

“This solution is the latest addition to our integrated additive manufacturing platform, which is helping customers industrialize additive manufacturing by designing and printing useful parts at scale,” said Jan Leuridan, senior vice president for Simulation and Test Solutions at Siemens PLM Software.


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