Skip to content
  • Nsirc
  • News
  • 2024
  • Antonis Creates Web-Based Support Generation Software for AM

Antonis Creates Web-Based Support Generation Software for AM

Fri, 05 April, 2024

A free web-based software for metal laser powder bed fusion (PBF-LB/M) has been introduced by a team of researchers, including NSIRC PhD student Antonios Dimopoulos.

Available at no cost, the software is designed to generate appropriate support structures and predict the thermomechanical behaviour of a part under PBF-LB/M printing conditions, addressing the challenges of critical part construction and high process costs in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry.

PBF-LB is an advanced AM technology that produces thin, complex, and lightweight components for various sectors, including healthcare, automotive, defence, and aerospace.

Support structures play an equally significant role in PBF-LB/M, preventing defective and collapsed parts and reducing post-processing efforts. However, incorrect support selection or adding unnecessary supports leads to increased material usage and high thermal stresses, causing printing defects.

The web-based support generation and optimisation platform addresses these issues by allowing users to import 3D parts and generate block-type support structures with diamond perforations based on the PySLM library.

The software predicts the thermomechanical behaviour of a part during printing, ensuring high-quality prints, minimizing material usage, and reducing printing time. The software is fully interactive and accessible online at no cost.

The research paper, "An Interactive Web-Based Platform for Support Generation and Optimisation for Metal Laser Powder Bed Fusion," was published in Materials as part of the Special Issue Design and Application of Additive Manufacturing: Volume II.

The co-authors of the paper include Giorgos Chryssinas, Dimitra Mavroforaki and Panagiotis Chatzakos from TWI Hellas, and Professor Tat-Hean Gan from Brunel University London and TWI Ltd.

This web-based software is a significant development for the AM industry, promising to reduce costs, improve print quality, and streamline the PBF-LB/M printing process.

Access the Paper Online

Courtesy of TWI Ltd
Courtesy of TWI Ltd

Antonios Dimopoulos is a highly accomplished individual who has received both his BSc and MSc degrees in Product and System Design Engineering and Design & Engineering, respectively. He earned his BSc in October 2016 from the University of the Aegean and his MSc in April 2021 from Politecnico di Milano. His MSc was particularly noteworthy as he was honoured with a 2-year merit-based scholarship.

Antonios began his career in September 2015 as an industrial design engineer at Innora/IKH, a company based in Greece that specialises in robotics and control systems. After completing his MSc, he joined TWI Hellas where he worked on more than 4 European projects. During his time at TWI Hellas, Antonios delivered solutions on Additive Manufacturing modelling and process optimisation, leading to his continued employment at the company.

In October 2021, Antonios started his PhD studies at Brunel University London and NSIRC. Under the guidance and supervision of Tat Hean Gan and Panagiotis Chatzakos, he is working on the development of an innovative decision support platform for metal support structures optimisation of laser powder bed fusion systems. His research is sponsored by Lloyd's Register Foundation, further highlighting his academic excellence.

To speak to Antonios about his research, email or You can also connect with Antonios on LinkedIn.