Toolpaths for Powder-Bed-Fusion (PBF)

April 13, 2023
Integrated Additive Manufacturing with Topology Optimization

Numerical modelling experts for robust generative design, Rafinex, and digital manufacturing specialists, ModuleWorks, have combined workpiece topology optimization with intelligent toolpath planning in an efficient, sustainable solution for Powder-Bed-Fusion (PBF).

Rafinex topology optimization anticipates real-life variability in material loads and properties to help engineers design resilient, reliable parts for stress-critical applications. The intelligent solution includes a full scope FEA validation to de-risk any design. Combining this with ModuleWorks toolpath algorithms enables engineers to include manufacturability in their designs very effectively for a range of additive processes.

“Integrating toolpath algorithms in topology optimization is a tremendous benefit because manufacturing constraints included in the design phase save time and costs further down the line. Our aim is to continue delivering best-in-class design optimization across the industries. Our latest collaboration with ModuleWorks extends our SaaS solution to important additive processes such as Powder Bed Fusion”, said André Wilmes, CEO at Rafinex.

Integrated into the Rafinex solution, the ModuleWorks software generates highly automated, collision-free toolpaths for PBF. The workflow enables users to quickly program resilient, high-performance parts for production where expert knowledge of the manufacturing process is not required. The pre-defined parameters assist engineers in optimising the workpiece geometry for the PBF process to generate a toolpath and NC code that automatically minimises material waste.

“This is an excellent example of how different technologies can be effectively combined to enhance the efficiency, quality and sustainability of additive manufacturing”, said Lothar Glasmacher, Head of Additive & Process Technologies at ModuleWorks. “We look forward to our continued cooperation with Rafinex and further development of the technology beyond PBF to include Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) in the midterm.”

Related Glossary Terms

  • lapping compound( powder)

    lapping compound( powder)

    Light, abrasive material used for finishing a surface.

  • numerical control ( NC)

    numerical control ( NC)

    Any controlled equipment that allows an operator to program its movement by entering a series of coded numbers and symbols. See CNC, computer numerical control; DNC, direct numerical control.

  • toolpath( cutter path)

    toolpath( cutter path)

    2-D or 3-D path generated by program code or a CAM system and followed by tool when machining a part.