Additive manufacturing joint research designed to advance end-to-end product innovation

Entegris, a world-class supplier of advanced materials and process solutions for the semiconductor and other high-tech industries, multiphysics simulation pioneers Ansys and ESSS (which develops Rocky DEM) are collaborating to explore a broad array of innovations in additive manufacturing (AM). Overall, the joint endeavor expects to improve 3-D printing efficiency, speed product time to market, reduce traditional-manufacturing raw material waste and costs, leverage engineering simulation capabilities to eliminate the need for expensive prototype testing, and expand AM market opportunities.

Additive manufacturing offers more digital flexibility and efficiency compared to traditional fabrication methods. While conventional part manufacturing removes excess material through milling and machining, AM builds 3D complex parts via printing in precise layers. In best practice, AM delivers improved product performance and reliability; it also enables more-complex geometries and simplified fabrication.

The semiconductor industry relies on rapid, continual innovation to meet market demands for higher performance processing and memory capabilities. “This joint endeavor has the potential to make Entegris’ AM product design capabilities more robust, permitting more intricate designs than traditional manufacturing can facilitate,” notes the company’s Chief Technology Officer Jim O’Neill. “For example, by combining a deep understanding of fundamental material properties with models of novel design configurations, we can create new products with unique performance characteristics.”

While additive manufacturing simulation is a relatively new technology, it offers the same value proposition as proven engineering simulation analysis: minimize risk, cut time and costs, and maximize product innovation. “Additive manufacturing began as a way to produce rapid prototypes, but it is gaining broad acceptance as a final production strategy,” says Nilay Parikh, Senior Product Manager, Additive Manufacturing, Ansys, whose multiphysics software is used world-wide to engineer innovative products. “Companies can use the Ansys software suite — moving well beyond determining physics forces to ensure that performance criteria are met — to analyze the end-to-end additive manufacturing process, from the earliest design to the finished product.”

Parts produced via additive manufacturing have very different characteristics than cast or forged parts — and deep-dive multiphysics simulation provides insight into how these parts will react to forces in the real world. “Specifically, accurately predicting particulate behavior is critical in the 3-D printing process, which uses powders as feedstock to print a part. Adding to the physics complexity are distribution uniformity, size range, and density parameters. ESSS’ flag-ship discrete element product, Rocky DEM, helps engineers understand and address issues related to distortion, tolerance and build-failure,” says Rahul Bharadwaj, VP of engineering and business development, ESSS.

“Though much of our research will center on the 3-D printing process, the ultimate product is the component that an end-user creates — which must be analyzed in relation to the engineered system it is part of,” notes Montray Leavy, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Entegris. “We chose Ansys and Rocky DEM software based on this objective, mainly because of their advanced technologies, superior abilities to accurately model and simulate particle/component behaviors, depth and breadth of physics capabilities, and ability to model the entire manufacturing process.”

Joint research partners are optimistic that overcoming current design constraints in traditional manufacturing will lead to 3-D printing discoveries that benefit a wide range of industries beyond the semiconductor industry, including aerospace, medical and energy.

Entegris will use simulation software from Ansys and ESSS at its joint lab with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), which was set up earlier this year to explore new product design capabilities and market opportunities in AM.

Entegris is supported by CAD-IT, the Rocky DEM and Ansys Elite Channel Partner in Singapore.

Read more about the joint research on the Entegris website

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