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  • Writer's pictureSebastian Bluemer

Additive Manufacturing - Warpage in L-PBF

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

"One of the best-kept secrets from application-oriented development in L-PBF ☞ Warpage of your 3D parts during the print."

Warpage is one of the daily discussed process phenomena in process engineering as internal stress occurs during the print and can result in part failures. There are ways of working to handle the warpage, e.g. pre-deformation and subsequent heat treatment. Nevertheless, as a process engineer, let's first try to prove our capabilities by orientation and a suitable support strategy.

⚙️ Pre-deformation: This is a proven approach to counteract distortions, e.g. by means of an inherent-strain approach. Parts has to be measured after printing to improve your simulation approach. Generic geometries such as Cantilever should provide a baseline for your simulation. However, does this also work for thin-walled components?

🌡 Heat treatment: First of all, the component must survive the process and do not show any support failure during the print. In most cases this is already the first challenge; as not all parts are topology optimized or designed considering a DFAM approach. Afterwards stress relieve heat treatment is a common approach to handle residual stress in your component.

From my point of view, it's a combination of process preparation and post processing. Depending on the complexity, orientation and support strategy should be clarified first. After a successful build, a stress relief treatment should be performed especially if you are planning to machine your part afterwards. Even if you have to adjust these heat treatment cycles depending on your part volume.

What is your experience with stress relieving? Have you noticed any differences in warpage between your L-PBF systems? What is your daily applied process chain - do you include a heat treatment after the print?

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