Over the past two decades, Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) has been evolving into a potential series production solution. The industrialization of LPBF is in full swing and it becomes clear that economic efficiency is one of the most important aspects when sustainably implementing this process in industrial applications. For this reason, LPBF machine suppliers offer modular and scalable machine concepts as well as auxiliary systems that customers can individually configure to suit their needs.
The RWTH Aachen University Chair for Digital Additive Production DAP has recently developed an innovative and reliable LPBF cost calculation tool for these modular system solutions: the virtual module emulator that is integrated into the entire digital LPBF process chain. The virtual module emulator replaces the real machine by processing the layered 2,5D geometry data and by virtually executing the contained scanning vectors. A procedural control, implemented by individual module instances in a service-oriented architecture (SOA), executes the LPBF process by calling virtual services, e.g. the virtual “coater” that executes the action “add powder”.