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Powder Bed Fusion

Additive Manufacturing Module

Model the Powder Bed Fusion process with this Add-on Module that has a unified treatment of process parameters and alloy dependent thermophysical properties.

About the Additive Manufacturing Module

The Additive Manufacturing Module is an Add-on Module in Thermo-Calc that is primarily designed for modeling the powder bed fusion process in Additive Manufacturing. 

Special focus has been to have a unified treatment of alloy dependent material properties and process parameters when solving the multiphysics problem of a moving heat source that melts and solidifies metal powder. The multiphysics simulation involves thermal conduction, fluid flow, evaporation-, radiation- and convective- heat loss. 


A screenshot of the Additive Manufacturing Module showing the results of a steady state calculation for the material SS316L. A keyhole can be seen formed just below the location of the heat source.

The alloy dependent physical properties such as specific heat, density, thermal conductivity, viscosity, and surface tension of liquid are all calculated from evaporation temperature down to room temperature using the extended SCHEIL calculator and are automatically transferred for use in the Additive Manufacturing Module.

The module has 3 calculation types: Steady-State, Transient, and Transient with heat-source from Steady-State. Steady-State solves the stationary problem for the melt pool given the Process Parameters*. Transient and Transient with heat-source from Steady-State solves the time dependent problem for a single or multi-layer process for given Process Parameters*.

*Process Parameters that Can Be Changed for the Simulation

Scanning speed, layer thickness, scanning pattern, hatch spacing, powder fill time, heat source (including power, absorptivity and heat distribution), chamber pressure and base plate temperature

The Additive Manufacturing Module Allows You To Calculate

Evaluation of the following is possible depending on calculation type:


  • Size of melt pool
  • Peak temperature
  • Velocity of fluid flow
  • Property variations through the melt pool (temperature, viscosity, thermal conductivity, density) or any selected line
  • 2D Sectioning in any plane

Transient and Transient with Heat Source from Steady State

  • Temperature vs. Time response at selected position of the build and how this changes with Process Parameters
  • Time-dependence of the properties listed above under Steady-State
  • Connect the above Temperature vs. Time response with Diffusion Module and/or Precipitation Module

Easy Workflow

The Additive Manufacturing Module makes it easy to set up simulations related to the powder bed fusion process for additive manufacturing by offering an intuitive workflow and templates for setting up the simulations. The software also allows users to save their alloys directly in the calculator, so you can easily access them later, saving time and ensuring consistency in your work. The software ships with several common alloys used in additive manufacturing so users can begin making simulations immediately. 

Seamlessly Couples to Other Modules

The Additive Manufacturing Module seamlessly couples with both the Diffusion Module (DICTRA) and Precipitation Module (TC-PRISMA) so that the probe data generated from an AM calculation can be used as input for diffusion and precipitation calculations. Relevant add-on licenses are required for each calculator that is coupled.

Integrates with TC-Python

Most of the functionality in the Additive Manufacturing Module is also available in TC-Python, our Python-based API. This API allows users to easily perform simulations over a large range or process parameters and to produce printability maps for when defects like lack-of-fusion, keyholing, and balling will occur.

The actual integration needs to be programmed by the customer using Python.


For compatibility with the Additive Manufacturing Module, a database needs the following properties added in addition to the thermodynamics: surface tension for liquid, viscosity for liquid, thermal conductivity, molar volume, and a complete gas description.

The Additive Manufacturing Module is currently available with the following databases, starting with the version listed below:

  • Steel and Fe-alloys Database (TCFE13)
  • Nickel-based Superalloys Database (TCNI12)
  • Magnesium-based Alloys Database (TCMG6)
  • Copper-based Alloys Database (TCCU6)
  • Titanium and TiAl-based Alloys Database (TCTI5)
  • Noble Metal Alloys Database (TCNOBL3)
  • High Entropy Alloys Database (TCHEA6)
  • Aluminum-based Alloys Database (TCAL9)

Getting Started Guide

Learn how to get started with calculations in the Additive Manufacturing Module in this Getting Started Guide. Users will learn how to set up a common workflow in the Additive Manufacturing Module, which involves calculations using the Steady-State and Transient with heat-source from steady-state simulation modes in the Graphical Mode of Thermo-Calc.

Webinar Recording

Demonstration of the New Additive Manufacturing Module

Learn about the Additive Manufacturing Module in this webinar recording, which gives an overview of the module, followed by a demonstration of how to: generate the materials data needed for the simulation, setup different calculation types, analyze results, and couple results to other modules. We also give a preview of the current development and have a Q&A session.


The Additive Manufacturing Module is available for purchase as an add-on to a Thermo-Calc license. In order to run the Additive Manufacturing Module, it is necessary to have a license for Thermo-Calc, a license for the Additive Manufacturing Module, and at least one thermodynamic and properties database listed above in the Databases section. If you are interested in purchasing a license for this Module, please contact us to discuss which license is right for you.

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