Additive Manufacturing

Today, many organizations are looking at additive manufacturing as a production solution, rather than just a fast prototyping, research and development (R&D) curiosity. To many, it means a rapid digital transition to a new approach towards the design and optimization of components for additive manufacturing. Altair provides a powerful, complete solution that lets designers unleash the potential of additive manufacturing to create intricate, organic shapes that meet functional requirements without needing to deal with the constraints imposed by traditional manufacturing methods.

TCT & Altair

AM for Production

TCT Magazine and Altair set out to understand the industry’s desire and readiness for series production using additive technologies. Here's what we found.

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Topology Optimization

The distinctive organic looking parts that many consider a trademark additive manufacturing (AM) aesthetic, are created through a process called topology optimization. Altair® OptiStruct® is the original topology optimization structural design tool. While some are still discovering how this technology can help designers and engineers rapidly develop innovative, lightweight, and structurally efficient designs, for over two decades OptiStruct® has driven the design of products you see and use every day.

Simulation-driven Design

Advanced engineering simulation has traditionally been employed as virtual testing of a mature design. A task performed late during product development, just before building a physical prototype. Organizations mature in their digital transformation use Altair simulation technology early in the design process as part of concept design. To enable this shift, a new category of software has been created developed to accelerate design decisions.

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Manufacturing Simulation

For Additive Manufacturing: Whether you’re looking to make product parts or tooling by additive manufacturing, Altair® Inspire™ Print3D cuts product development and costs by reducing material usage, print times, and post-processing. With it, engineers can immediately see the effects of changes to designs or processes on manufacturing efficiency, then export part and support structure geometry to major printer preparation software for printing by metal binder jetting or powder bed fusion processes. Its fast, accurate toolset aids identification and correction of potential deformation, delamination, and excessive heating issues in intricate organic geometries and lattice structures before building a part.

For Traditional Manufacturing with AM Tooling: It may not make sense for parts to be designed for additive manufacturing, but it might work for its tooling. Additive methods are being aggressively applied to the manufacture of cores, forms, and molds, in addition to production jigs and fixtures. The reduced fabrication time means that tooling lead times are shorter, and the storage of physical tools isn’t required. Altair has tools to simulate many manufacturing methods.

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Elegant Solutions

Applied Across Industries: OptiStruct uses topology optimization to develop optimized structures by considering design parameters like expected loads, available design space, material, and cost. Embedded early in the design process, it enables the creation of designs with minimal mass and maximal stiffness. Topology optimization allows you to find the best material distribution for your traditional or advanced manufacturing process and compare designs.

Applied Early in the Process: Altair® Inspire™ brings OptiStruct into a new user experience encouraging more early application of topology optimization. Both tools consider multiple manufacturing constraints, including symmetry patterns, draw direction, cavity avoidance, overhang angles, and extrusion. Topology optimization allows for fast design exploration, improved development productivity, and identifies opportunities for part consolidation.

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Higher Performance

Lattice Structures: Exploiting the potential of lattice structures revolves around the unique capabilities 3D printing offers. With Inspire, designers can easily explore the engineering advantages of lattices over more conventional designs. At the same time, OptiStruct provides a deeper understanding of topology optimization and lattice mechanical performance, and Altair CFD™ solutions provide answers to thermal efficiency by simulating physical characteristics of cooling systems in parts and assemblies. Together, teams can assess variants quickly, thus minimizing overall simulation lead time thanks to automated optimization processes and cutting-edge functionalities.

Thermal Efficiency: Hydraulic valve blocks, turbine blades, heat exchangers, and injection molding tooling with conformal cooling channels are improved by Altair CFD™ and Altair® HyperStudy®. The parametrization is directly done on the simulation model with the morphing capabilities of Altair® HyperMesh®. With this approach, the simulation lead time is cut down to a minimum, variants can be assessed quickly, and innovation is driven by automated optimization processes.

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Featured Resources

Future.Industry 2023 Simulation presentation

Designing the Future: Leveraging Simulation, Additive Manufacturing, Generative Design, and AI for Cost-Effective and Sustainable Products

In this panel discussion, Maoz Barkai, Product Manager at Oqton; Dr. Bastiaan Oud, Head of Strategy at SIMCON; and Joseph Flynn, Senior Specialist Simulation & Design Development at Altair, will delve into the latest innovative technologies and techniques used to create high-performing, sustainable, and cost-effective products. Drawing on their expertise, our panelists will explore how simulation, additive manufacturing, generative design, and AI can be leveraged to optimize product performance, reduce design and manufacturing time and costs, and advance sustainability goals. They will also examine the challenges and opportunities associated with incorporating these technologies into product development workflows. Whether you're a product designer, engineer, or sustainability professional, this discussion promises to offer valuable insights and inspiration for harnessing cutting-edge technologies to develop products that meet your performance, cost, and sustainability objectives.

Presented as part of Altair's 2023 Future.Industry conference.

The presentation is in English by default.  The following languages are available by clicking on Audio Description 'AD))' on the video screen: DE, ES, FR, IT, ES, PT, KO, and CN.

Duration: 32 minutes

Future.Industry 2023
3D Printing Design

Boosting 3D Printing Design with Simulation

Ford Motor Company began working with Altair more than 30 years ago to support the company’s product development activities. Today, the company employs Altair software globally to support the development of Ford cars, trucks, and heavy equipment. In this customer story, Ford Mexico team using Altair Additive Manufacturing and Optimization Solutions, created brackets with a better mechanical behavior and a more effective heat dissipation.

Customer Stories

Engineer's Guide to Developing an Additive Manufacturing Strategy

This guide walks you through the decision-making process of taking additive manufacturing to production, answering some of the most important questions related to taking additive manufacturing to production

Simulate at the Speed of Design 2023 - Conference Theme

Expert Chat: Simulation-Driven Design for Manufacturing

Ravi Kunju, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Altair, discusses simulation-driven design for manufacturing.

Presented as part of the virtual ATCx Simulate at Speed of Design on June 28, 2023.

Duration: 22 mins

Simulate at the Speed of Design 2023
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