One simple way to save time, money and resources when 3D printing anything is to first run a simulation on your designs. There are many different simulation tools that have the ability to do this, such as Altair Inspire Extrude Polymer, when you want to run a polymer extrude simulation.
Altair Inspire Extrude Polymer
Altair Inspire Extrude Polymer, formerly known as Click2Extrude Polymer, is a simulation-based software that allows users to enhance and optimize the extrusion process to drastically improve productivity and quality. This allows polymer extrusion companies to produce complex profiles with tight tolerances, quality surface finishes and high strength properties at reduced cost.
The software allows a wide variety of users, from the experts to the novice, to perform simulations quickly and accurately.
Import Load and Extract Volume
Altair Inspire Extrude Polymer has the ability to import a variety of geometry formats, allowing us to run a simulation on almost any shape we need. However, before you can run the simulation there are a few steps you need to take. After you import an orient your geometry is to orient the die assembly. This ensures that the extrusion is in the positive C-direct. Click the flow volume icon to automatically extract the full volume of the polymer by selecting the entire model. The software will automatically extract the relevant solids and discard the ones that are not required for the simulation. You can still review all the components that were created by using the F2 key to survey the individual components in the model browser.
Material Selection and Organizing Layers
A very important step before running an extrude simulation is selecting the right material. If you run the test with a material that you don't intend to use the results will essentially be useless. You first need to select polymer melt for simulation and then choose the desired material from the library. Then, select the entire object and organize the solids into layers. Once the solids are established in a layer or layers they will be renamed and grouped according to die plates. Finally, you'll need to create the profile solid by selecting the last surface the solid. If you need to, you can change the profile solid length according to your parameters.
Process Data and Run Analysis
The final step before you can run the extrude simulation is to define the process conditions. You'll need to specify the inland and exit, plus the temperature, velocity and any other conditions that may influence the design. Once you have everything set up, save the model and then click on the analysis icon to proceed to run the extrude simulation.
After running the analysis in Altair Inspire Extrude Polymer you can see your results by clicking on the post-processing icon. Inside this feature, you have the ability to animate how the polymer melt will exit the die assembly while looking for any displacements. You can also get a more in-depth analysis by looking at other results such as:
- Strain rates
- And more!
Want to see all of this in action? Check out our video playlist to get a walk-through of all the steps above.