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Desktop Metal’s Live Sinter Software Eliminates Trial and Error

Sintering process simulation software corrects for shrinkage and distortion of binder jet 3D printed parts during sintering to minimize trial and error.
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Desktop Metal’s Live Sinter simulation software is designed to eliminate the trial and error required to achieve high-accuracy parts via powder metallurgy-based additive manufacturing (AM) processes such as binder jetting. Live Sinter offers AM engineers fast and predictable sintering outcomes, with simulation results in as little as five minutes and negative offset geometries in as few as twenty minutes, the company says.

According to the company, Live Sinter not only corrects for the shrinkage and distortion that parts typically experience during sintering but also opens the door to printing geometries that, without the software, would present significant challenges to sinter. By improving the shape and dimensional tolerances of sintered parts, first-time part success for complex geometries is improved, and the cost and time associated with postprocessing are minimized. In many cases, the software even enables parts to be sintered without the use of supports.

The software is compatible with any sintering-based powder metallurgy process (including metal injection molding). Live Sinter can be calibrated to a variety of alloys. It predicts the shrinkage and distortion that parts undergo during sintering and automatically compensates for such changes, creating “negative offset” geometries that, once printed, will sinter to the original, intended design specifications. These negative offsets are the result of a GPU-accelerated iterative process, in which the software proactively pre-deforms part geometries by precise amounts in specific directions, allowing them to achieve their intended shape as they sinter, the company says.

Live Sinter runs on a GPU-accelerated multiphysics engine, capable of modeling collisions and interactions between hundreds of thousands of connected particle masses and rigid bodies. The multiphysics engine’s dynamic simulation is refined using an integrated meshless finite element analysis, which computes stress, strain and displacement across part geometries used to predict not only shrinkage and deformation but also risks and failures, validating the feasibility of a part for sintering-based AM before the build begins.

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