The transportation industry is increasingly adopting advanced materials, which, as a result of increases in specific strength, offer improved efficiency, lower emissions, and decreased fuel consumption compared to traditional metal components. However, the transition to advanced materials has been slowed as structural analyses have become more complex and demanding.
Image courtesy of Fortify
MultiMechanics and Fortify, a Boston-based additive manufacturing company specialized in composite material systems, have announced a strategic partnership to improve the predictability of composite 3D printing. As part of the partnership, Fortify will use MultiMechanics' flagship product, MultiMech, to predict the structural integrity of printed parts before printing, and to help optimize the design by controlling the fiber orientation throughout the structure. Additionally, R&D will be performed to further enhance Fortify's print analysis software, INFORMTM, and generate more sophisticated microstructures using their FluxprintTM process based on microstructure analyses performed in MultiMech.
Microstructural modeling is often viewed as an extraneous activity when analyzing the behavior of composites. Many engineers use the "system" properties as the inputs for their part design without considering what contributes to that overall system response.
Many companies that develop new composite materials are surprised when their product does not perform as expected during the physical testing and certification process. In addition to the many years wasted on developing the material, companies often spend more than $50M on developing and testing a single new material concept.