Integrated Additive Manufacturing with Topology Optimization

April 12, 2023

Numerical modelling experts for robust generative design, Rafinex, and digital manufacturing specialists, ModuleWorks, have combined workpiece topology optimization with intelligent toolpath planning in an efficient, sustainable solution for Powder-Bed-Fusion (PBF).

Graphic showing the integrated additive manufacturing process with topology optimization for Powder-Bed-Fusion (PBF). Rafinex's topology optimization anticipates material load variability and includes FEA validation, while ModuleWorks' toolpath algorithms generate collision-free paths for PBF production. The solution saves time, cost, and material waste while enhancing efficiency, quality, and sustainability in additive manufacturing. Presented at Hannover Messe 2023, the collaboration between Rafinex and ModuleWorks extends to Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM).

Rafinex topology optimization anticipates real-life variability in material loads and properties to help engineers design resilient, reliable parts for stress-critical applications. The intelligent solution includes a full scope FEA validation to de-risk any design. Combining this with ModuleWorks toolpath algorithms enables engineers to include manufacturability in their designs very effectively for a range of additive processes.

“Integrating toolpath algorithms in topology optimization is a tremendous benefit because manufacturing constraints included in the design phase save time and costs further down the line. Our aim is to continue delivering best-in-class design optimization across the industries. Our latest collaboration with ModuleWorks extends our SaaS solution to important additive processes such as Powder Bed Fusion”, said André Wilmes, CEO at Rafinex.

Integrated into the Rafinex solution, the ModuleWorks software generates highly automated, collision-free toolpaths for PBF. The workflow enables users to quickly program resilient, high-performance parts for production where expert knowledge of the manufacturing process is not required. The pre-defined parameters assist engineers in optimising the workpiece geometry for the PBF process to generate a toolpath and NC code that automatically minimises material waste.

"This is an excellent example of how different technologies can be effectively combined to enhance the efficiency, quality and sustainability of additive manufacturing. We look forward to our continued cooperation with Rafinex and further development of the technology beyond PBF to include Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) in the midterm."

Rafinex is presenting the new solution at the Hannover Messe, 17 – 21 April 2023 in Hannover Germany. The solution is on show at the Rafinex Stand, Hall 2, Stand B40.                          

About ModuleWorks

ModuleWorks is the leading software component provider for the digital manufacturing industry. With over 200 employees and 1500 person-years of software development, ModuleWorks’ expertise in toolpath creation and simulation is recognized throughout the industry and its software components are already optimizing the performance and quality of over 500,000 installed seats of CAD/CAM and CNC software around the world. From standard products to exclusive development projects, ModuleWorks helps companies to bring their vision of Industry 4.0 to life. With its comprehensive portfolio of cutting-edge software components, ModuleWorks enables its customers to optimize their CAD/CAM solutions and connect to CNC/MTB systems to increase their competitiveness and help them Get There Faster.

About Rafinex

Rafinex is an innovative young company that is singularly dedicated to providing advanced numerical models for challenging engineering applications. Rafinex goes beyond current market tools by accounting for real-life variability using uncertainty quantification methods and by considering manufacturability; allowing safe and profitable usage by everyone in engineering design. Rafinex’ Stochastic Topology Optimizer has been recognized as a leading upcoming product in the form of the Best Young Tech Enterprise at Hannover Messe 2019.

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