Additive manufacturing (AM) is emerging as a key application for materials information technology leader, Granta Design. The Cambridge, UK-based company helps aerospace organisations manage their vital material and process information. It has worked with its customers to develop a software package specifically for projects that are developing and producing additively manufactured parts.
AM promises to transform manufacturing – but only if you can ensure part performance, consistency and quality. This requires deep understanding of process parameters and their impact on the material. MI:Additive Manufacturing is a package of tools built on the industry-leading GRANTA MI materials information management system. It includes a data structure (‘schema’) and information management capabilities that enable users to capture the full picture and manage data related to powders, builds, machine parameters, parts and tests. They can consolidate this data, browse it through fast, easy-to-use web apps, and share it across their organizations with controlled access. But how do they mine the resulting rich information resource to extract that crucial understanding?
Analysis apps enable plotting and graphical analysis of the additive manufacturing information stored in GRANTA MI. Users can visualise and understand vital relationships between material properties and additive manufacturing process parameters. This insight can be used to modify process parameters for optimal results.
The MI:Additive Manufacturing package can integrate with a range of AM machines, including those from EOS, Arcam and Renishaw. Granta also provides access to the Senvol Database, the leading reference resource, to search and compare materials based on properties, type or compatible machines – enabling you to make the right choice first time.
When implementing GRANTA MI to support AM projects, the Granta Design Services team configures the available tools and technology to the exact needs of the project. Two recent examples were: creating a tool to handle specialised powder material management, taking account of blending and recycling effects; and building a parameter-set development tool, which manages the optimised process parameters. These tools and the expertise that built them are available for use by other clients.
Granta is actively participating in developing industry standards in AM, ensuring that the Granta schema is up to date and ready to manage and report data according to standards (e.g. ASTM F42) for future qualification or certification. The system can be configured to generate automated qualification reports.
Najib Baig, Product Manager - Materials Innovation at Granta, says, “It is imperative to develop a business process strategy for additive manufacturing as early as possible. The GRANTA MI:Additive Manufacturing Package enables you to manage your process and dataflow, control your risks and reduce your time to production.”
Visit Granta Design Limited at Space Tech Expo Europe 2017 in stand A50