Markforged now provides simulation before you 3D print

The US 3D printer developer Markforged has entered a collaboration with MSC Software Corporation (MSC), a global leader in computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation software and services. The aim is to deliver process simulation, performance modeling, and material analysis tools for Markforged 3D printers.

Customers can already implement material analysis for the Markforged continuous carbon fiber and Onyx materials within MSC’s Digimat materials modelling software, and the cooperation will soon extend to provide full-process simulation and part performance with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) within a common CAE environment.

What are the benefits of simulation before 3D printing

Danfoss Power Solutions is a global industry leader in providing mobile hydraulics and a complete range of energy-efficient and intelligent hydraulic, electronic, and electrical solutions for the construction, agriculture, and other off-highway vehicle markets. It is one of many customers excited about the partnership between Markforged and MSC:

“We’ve been using Markforged metal and carbon fiber printers for more than a year now, and they’re invaluable. We invested mostly with tooling in mind, and it’s simplified and optimized our supply chain process for replacing fixtures at a much lower cost than machining,” said Jeff Herrin, Vice President Research & Development, Danfoss Power Solutions.

“But we wanted to identify more applications for 3D printing and validate the performance of our parts before they’re printed. The company’s partnership with MSC will not only demonstrate that their composite parts can replace metal, but also help identify a part’s top potential. Simulating the ideal weight, ideal cost savings, and ideal lead times with MSC will help us reduce our time and material usage so we can just print and deploy.”

Danfoss printed a lifting bracket with Markforged to lift cast housings in an assembly process. Given the suspended loads and the proximity of workers, validation is needed to ensure safe working conditions. With MSC and Markforged’s partnership, the simulation workflow has been validated on the bracket and the failure area has been identified. The results show a significant safety margin that validates that the lifting bracket can be safely deployed in operations and further offers an opportunity to reduce mass and cost.

Markforged’s offering on software tools

Material Engineering – MSC and Markforged clients can access digital material cards that capture the mechanical and material properties of Markforged’s continuous fibers and chopped fiber-filled plastics.

Process Simulation – Clients will be able to model 3D printing within the MSC software. They will also be able to establish print calibration standards, ensure each machine is optimized for the part, and make sure each part is printed accurately the first time.

Part Performance – Customers will be able to connect the Markforged material and print information with FEA simulation from MSC. They can run simulations on proposed designs containing continuous fibers and printed thermoform plastics to predict the parts’ mechanical and structural performance.

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