A finite element modeling strategy is developed to allow for the prediction of distortion accumulation in additive manufacturing (AM) large parts (on the order of meters). A 3D thermoelastoplastic analysis is performed using a hybrid quiet inactive element activation strategy combined with adaptive coarsening. At the beginning for the simulation, before material deposition commences, elements corresponding to deposition material are removed from the analysis, then elements are introduced in the model layer by layer in a quiet state with material properties rendering them irrelevant. As the moving energy source is applied on the part, elements are switched to active by restoring the actual material properties when the energy source is applied on them. A layer by layer coarsening strategy merging elements in lower layers of the build is also implemented such that while elements are added on the top of build, elements are merged below maintaining a low number of degrees of freedom in the model for the entire simulation. The effectiveness of the modeling strategy is demonstrated and experimentally validated on a large electron beam deposited Ti–6Al–4V part consisting of 107 deposition layers. The simulation and experiment show good agreement with a maximum error of 29%.

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