KANFIT3D intends to apply the KYKLOS 4.0 capabilities to address an important part of the AM design and manufacturing process, which is currently not sufficiently handled by available off-the-shelf software: The design of support structures and the selection of processes to remove these structures after printing. Support structures are necessary to enable the additive manufacturing of complex components, but afterwards they need to be removed from the part to form the final component.
Three major issues are associated with support structures:
there is a significant waste in materials to create the structures, which raises manufacturing costs,
support structure removal is tedious and time consuming, which also raises costs, and
a defective removal may affect the part quality.
Support structures need to be considered in several steps of the product’s design, planning of the product’s manufacturing, and the manufacturing steps including post-processing.
The first step in the process is the use of FEA (Finite Element Analysis), i.e. the simulation of a physical phenomenon using a numerical mathematic technique, for thermal simulation of the printing process – part and supports together.
For mechanical removal tools like SAW (ripsaws), machining processes like CNC milling or Electrical discharge machining (EDM) are used.
Since Kanfit3D is mostly contract manufacturing (built-to-print manufacturing where products, equipment, or components are produced following the customer’s exact specifications), Kanfit3D uses different modules for each step in the AM process.
In the expected situation after KYKLOS 4.0 is integrated, the KYKLOS platform will initially function as a decision support system in the task of adapting Additive Manufacturing processes for the production of a part. Therefore, the KYKLOS 4.0 platform will offer functionality to support the main phases from the Additive Manufacturing Workflow and in particular: Optimize (Shape, Size, Topology etc.), Validate Design (FEA, CFD etc), Material Choice (Polymer Metal Composite etc.), Process Choice (FDM, SLA, SLS, SLM, DMLS etc.), Analyse (Printability, Wall Thickness, Mesh, Errors/Healing etc.) Build Prep (Orienting, Nesting, Supports, Hollowing, Lattice etc.), Slicing (Layer Height, Infill, Perimeters etc.), Validate Print Job (Thermal Simulation, Shape Compensation etc.).