Simulating Additive Manufacturing with Simufact Additive

Introducing Simufact Additive

Michael Wohlmuth, CEO Simufact

‘Today companies employing AM technology for printing metal parts have to cope with failure in their production processes and the high knock on costs associated with this. Simufact Additive is an important tool which will help these companies get it ‘right first time’, by regularly running simulations prior to production.’

Michael Wohlmuth, CEO Simufact

Michael Wohlmuth, CEO Simufact

‘For the technical heart of the software we developed an application-specific solver based on MSC’s powerful generic Marc solver. Simufact Additive will be able to capture the complete process chain in the manufacturing environment and to scale the simulation based on the user requirements. The key driver is accuracy followed by speed. Therefore, we have developed a completely new infrastructure specially dedicated to AM.’

Dr. Hendrik Schafstall, CTO Simufact

Insight into Simufact Additive

What´s new in Simufact Additive 3

Button Simufact Additive V3

Highlight of Simufact Additive 3 is the thermo-mechanical calculation method. Learn more.

What´s new

Interview with Dr. Henrik Schafstall

In an interview with Stefaan Motte, Vice President Software of Materialise Software, Dr. Hendrik Schafstall explains the value simulation can bring to Metal 3D Printing, what it means to have simulation integrated within Materialise Magics and what the future of simulation looks like.


Simulating Reality Magazin

Virtual Reality Magazin - thumb

MSC's latest Simulating Reality magazine is a pure Additive Manufacturing issue – introducing new simulation solutions for Metal and Plastics additive manufacturing, showcasing real examples and providing insights into what´s coming next in AM simulation – from MSC´s e-Xstream and Simufact. 



Key Benefits summary


Simufact Additive is a powerful and scalable software solution for the simulation of metal-based additive manufacturing processes.

Simufact Additive helps you produce AM parts first-time-right:

  1. Calculate the deformation of the final part and reduce / avoid distortion
  2. Calculate the deformation of the base plate
  3. Prediction of the influence of several components in the build space
  4. Minimize residual stress
  5. Optimize the build-up orientation
  6. Optimize the support structure
  7. Condition of the part also after heat treatment, base plate and support structure removal
  8. Run the simulation in Windows and Linux environment

In the future also

  1. Predict the microstructure
  2. Indicate criteria-based part failure

Achieve your business goals with Simufact Additive

Replace time-consuming testing with simulation methods!

Employ Simufact Additive process simulation and save time and money:

  1. Shorten your learning process dramatically
  2. Run more variations prior to the production
  3. Shorten time-to-market
  4. Increase machine/manpower availability and productivity
  5. Reduce material and energy consumption costs


5 reasons why ...

App. 5 reasons why ...

... Simufact Additive will lead the way.

Simufact Additive brochure



Functional Scope of Simufact Additive

Powder Bed Fusion processes

Powder Bed Fusion

Laser Deposition Methods

Icon Laser Deposition Methods
Deposition Methods

Simufact Additive covers the simulation of Powder Bed Fusion processes, e.g. known as:

  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) - an EOS technology
  • LaserCUSING® - a Concept Laser technology
  • Electron Beam Melting (EBM) - an ARCAM technology
  • and more …
Laser Beam Melting principle with machine scheme (Source: Fraunhofer IWU)
Laser Beam Melting principle with machine scheme (Source: Fraunhofer IWU)

Please note that the simulation of Laser Deposition Methods (LDM) is covered by Simufact Welding.


Simufact Welding for Metal Deposition Methods
Simufact Welding for Metal Deposition Methods

Additive Manufacturing Process Chain

AM process chain vision

Covering the complete AM process chain (in combination with MSC products)

Additive Manufacturing process chain
Additive Manufacturing process chain covered by MSC & Simufact

Embedded process chain simulation

Simufact Additive covers the core manufacturing process chain including

  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Heat Treatment / stress relief process
  • Cutting & removal (of the support structures and plate)
  • HIP-process (hot isostatic pressing) prediction of distortion, residual stress and material densification


Read more about MSC´s complete AM solution portfolio:

MSC Solutions for Additive Manufacturing


AM Simulation videos - Examples

Simulation of distortion of an additively manufactured manifold

Simulation of effective stress of an additively manufactured aerospace bracket

Your Benefits: Simufact Additive helps you

Calculate the deformation of the final part

  • Detect and minimize too high distortion in the height to avoid build job abortions
  • Recalculate pre-distorted shape, so that distortion can be compensated
App. Total distortion in an AM created bracket
Total distortion in an AM created bracket

Minimize residual stress

  • Avoid build job abortion
  • Avoid subsequent cracking

Explore impact of manufacturing post-processing steps

  • Heat treatment - Prediction of distortion and residual stress under the conditions of highly elevated temperatures 
  • HIP - Prediction of distortion, residual stress and material densification (e.g. based on the hollow sphere model) under the conditions of highly elevated temperatures and pressures
  • Removal operations (base plate and support structures)

Optimizing the process chain: This picture sequence illustrates the stepwise reduction of residual stress in a bracket during the manufacturing post-processing steps. The result of the optimization process is an almost stress-free bracket.

Optimize the build-up orientation

  • Compare different options for build-up orientation
  • Find the optimal build strategy

Optimize support structures

  • Determine the minimum needed support structures
  • Check influence on deformation and stress
  • Analyze influence of different support designs and their properties

With friendly permission by NDES.

Optimize cutting parameters

  • Compare simulation results of different cutting strategies
  • Minimize the final distortion



More options

Accuracy and speed of simulation

Multi-scaling approach

Simufact Additive´s basic concept lays the foundation for a wide variability and scalability through different levels of details for the simulation results. Simufact Additive combines best approaches in one unique software solution.

We call this a multi-scaling approach:

  • Macroscopic approaches
    • Fast layer-based models
    • An extremely fast mechanical method for the prediction of distortion and residual stresses in the component (Available with version 3)
    • A thermo-mechanical method for the prediction of global heat distribution, distortion and residual stresses in the component and base plate (Available with version 3)
  • Mesoscopic approach (upcoming versions)
    • Intermediate approaches combining the advantages of reasonable analysis times and the desired level of detail
    • Hatching model, e.g. with inherent strain or thermal cycle
  • Microscopic approach (upcoming versions)
    • A fully thermo-mechanically coupled transient analysis to accurately determine the temperature history and derived properties like the microstructure.
    • Heat source model
    • High level of detail, based on multiphase models



Running a fully thermo-mechanically coupled transient analysis will provide highest result accuracy - but is this your daily business?

Often a faster approach might be sufficient - which helps you achieve short-term analysis results to guide your day-by-day decision making.

Improved solver technology

Simufact Additive is based on MSC´s proven MARC solver technology

  1. Leading solution for non-linear numerical simulations
  2. Covering a broad range of physics
  3. Efficient matrix solvers
  4. Parallelization and speed-up of the analysis by using multiple processor cores and shared memory
  5. Further dedicated advancement for AM purposes
  6. Scalable regarding speed and level of detail
  7. Enables high resolution models with respect to solid fraction
Total distortion of an additively manufactured bracket
Total distortion in an AM built bracket


Software usability

Best-In-Class GUI for Additive Manufacturing process simulation

Process-related icons
Process-related icons

Simufact Additive comes with an intuitive and user-friendly GUI ensuring an extraordinary user experience. The flexible GUI concept allows machine and application-specific dialogs aligned with the real process work flow. A meshing capability is included for the automatic and rapid discretization of even large and complex structures of any shape. The GUI is laid out to smoothly handle these meshes that can readily reach more than a million elements.

Simufact Additive`s best-in-class GUI:

  • User-friendly, intuitive use
  • Context sensitive, use right mouse click
  • Prepared for application- and machine-specific dialogs
  • Support big filigree models
  • GUI is oriented to real AM workflow

Highly realistic results: The comparison of optically measured distortions with simulation-based distortion shows a high correlation.



Automatic generation of support structures

Based on CAD data of the part, Simufact Additive can automatically generate support structures for the manufacturing process.


  • Saves time as no need to continuously go back to the usual support generating software:
    • Different build-positions can be simulated in one tool with their respective support setup
    • Principal studies on support structure positions and properties are possible
    • Build-up orientation can be easily optimized

machine vendor partnerships

Integration of simulation software and 3D printing machines

Simufact is building partnerships with 3D printing machine suppliers aiming at an integrated approach which combines AM simulation software with vendor-specific 3D printers / resp. their build preparation software. The goal is a fully-coupled simulation-based optimization providing the build file for the best configuration. This approach is an important component of our 'right-first-time' strategy.



Integration of simulation software and 3D printing machines

Logo Renishaw

Renishaw plc, a leading manufacturer of advanced metal AM systems, is the first 3D printing machine vendor to collaborate with Simufact in the common goal of an integrated approach. The aim is a fully simulation based optimization leading to the best quality build file. Initially, Renishaw’s QuantAM build preparation software will be coupled with Simufact process simulation software and enable data exchange, using QuantAM’s open API (application programming interface). The next step is to automatically set-up a simulation based on the build information and in return to display the simulation results in Renishaw’s QuantAM build preparation software.


Microstructure simulation

Microstructure simulation for part performance prediction

  1. Draw conclusions for the part´s durability and lifetime
  2. Understand the influence on the part´s final material properties

Efficient use of metallic parts made by additive manufacturing requires the prediction of the part’s performance under various loading condition which is highly sensitive to the inherently heterogeneous location-specific properties of the underlying material. Accurate prediction and control of location specific material properties necessitates accurate knowledge of the underlying microstructure with robust integration with finite element tools.


For the prediction of the microstructures, Simufact will add further functionality to Simufact Additive allowing for transient simulation with linked microstructure. Simufact is collaborating with Materials Resources LLC (MRL), a leader in materials informatics. This collaboration brings to designers and manufacturers the location-specific microstructure effects via an integrated computational microstructure-informed response laboratory (ICMRL) developed by MRL that is used for calibrating and validated Simufact Additive. The insertion of the continuously growing processing, microstructure, and property databases for additively manufactured metals provides Simufact customers with a microstructure-informed modeling tool from powder processing to mechanical performance of a finished part.

Case Study

Success Story Green Team: Simufact provides a complete AM process simulation solution

Simufact Case Study - Simufact Engineering Renishaw and the GreenTeam


 - Cracks located at the interface between the par/base plate and the part/support

 - Undesired distortion


 - Failure analysis by simulation

 - Distortion compensation by adding inserts and new supports structure 


Sucess Story LightHinge+: Additively manufactured hood hinge

Simufact Case Study - Simufact Engineering LightHinge+ Projekt


Re-construction of a conventional hinge hood aiming at substantial weight reduction, fewer component arts, less assembly steps, and integrated pedestrian protection functionality - to be manufactured using metal additive manufacturing methods.


In order to reduce the number of try-out steps, Simufact simulated the distortions in the AM parts. By distortion compensation countermeasures the parts were produced in shorter time meeting quality goals.

Visit the LightHinge+ website in order to learn more about the project. 


Project Website

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