ANSYS has acquired simulation software company 3DSIM for an undisclosed amount. 3DSIM, based in Park City, Utah, develops simulation software for metal additive manufacturing. According to ANSYS, the combination of 3DSIM and ANSYS offers the industry’s only complete additive manufacturing simulation workflow, enabling designers to optimize designs through simulation, rather than building and iterating physical prototypes.

3DSIM's products include exaSIM, developed for machine operators and designers of additive manufacturing-developed parts. exaSIM provides predictions to identify residual stress, distortion and build failure, enabling users to achieve tolerances and avoid failures without physical experimentation.

Another product, FLEX, optimizes process parameters for a particular additive manufacturing machine and material combination, leading to high levels of part integrity and predicting microstructure properties before building the part.

3DSIM’s customers include aerospace and automotive equipment manufacturers, parts manufacturers, metal additive manufacturing machine producers and research labs.

Additive manufacturing is the fastest-growing engineering market segment. While it can potentially transform the industrial manufacturing landscape, it faces several hurdles before replacing existing manufacturing methods. Printing metal is particularly challenging, because it often involves a laser, which optimizes the metal's density for each application; however, the laser can melt the metal in unexpected ways, causing product failure. Rapid heating and cooling cause stresses that can deform the product. The combined ANSYS-3DSIM simulation solution will reduce those risks, leading to stronger yet lighter components.

Shane Emswiler, ANSYS vice president and general manager, said, “Additive manufacturing is changing the way companies are bringing products to market, and 3DSIM is helping to lead the way through its innovative solutions. By bringing exaSIM and FLEX onto our Workbench platform, ANSYS can offer customers the only end-to-end additive manufacturing simulation workflow available. That will spark innovation, speed time to market and reduce manufacturing costs for our customers across industries.”

3DSIM CEO Brent Stucker said, “We are excited to become part of the ANSYS family with its nearly 50-year history of helping customers realize their product promise. Combining 3DSIM's leading additive manufacturing technology with ANSYS engineering simulation solutions will be a win-win for our customers and the entire industry.”