Project Code: 35254
Start date and planned duration: January 2023, 36 months
This project aims to provide an impartial review of CAM software tools, disconnected from any commercial interests, and conducted by DED users and CAM software developers at TWI. This will be mentored by TWI industrial members to define requirements and expectations, and supported by software developers to offer expertise on software capabilities and access to software, training and digital tools in place. The following objectives are initially assigned:
- To define industry requirements and expectations for DED CAM software; underpinned by the creation of a matrix to capture key capabilities of the chosen software providers.
- To test and evaluate the software features against the defined reference part(s) (which incorporates design features of ASTM F31413 Guide on Design of Additive Manufacturing on DED technology) e.g. Boss on a curve, single-pass wall, dual-pass wall, impellers blade etc.
- To compile the results to feedback and disseminate the evaluation and developments among members in an accessible format including the decision matrix and accompanying report.
To achieve the project objectives, 5 main work packages were planned, as follows:
Work Package 1 – Industry Requirements and Expectations
Work Package 2 – Software Training and Review
Work Package 3 – Software Implementation
Work Package 4 – Tests and Evaluation
Work Package 5 – Feedback and Dissemination
This is summarized on the schematic:
As outcomes, the project aims to deliver:
- Workshops for the CRP stakeholders
- Software installed at TWI and commissioned on at least one DED system (e.g. gantry, robot)
- Reference test geometry based on ASTM F3413
- Evaluation matrix of DED CAM tools
Benefits to Industry
A review of CAM software solutions for directed energy deposition is the key topic of this project. The TRL level of commercial software tools differ among the providers, usually between TRL 5 to TRL 9. The large range is strongly dependant on the match between the software and the technology and application using it. Seeking a perfect match of software with technology (not just DED) is a problem for members and multiple sections within TWI that operate industrial manipulation equipment. This CRP will advance TRL levels of multiple industries and TWI sections through offering an informed approach to software selection for different AM and surfacing technologies. The correct software selection will enable a jump from (eventually from TRL7 to TRL9) for e.g. applications in repair and additive manufacturing of large scale components.
For the TWI Industrial members, the main benefits are:
- The knowledge gained through exploitation of multiple CAM tools focused on DED applications will help members’ decisions around AM technology and software implementation. The decision matrix, outcome of project, will support the industry on this aspect.
- The project results will allow members to access the state-of-the-art in terms of DED CAM solutions. This will facilitate technology transfer to members, and thus ultimately more rapid adoption of AM.
- The development of SCPs will be enhanced in terms of quality, cost reduction and time optimization, for the benefit of members and TWI.