CAD Input Geometry
QForm uses CAD drawings of your tools and billet to simulate the complete forging process. The program needs a CAD model of the initial billet, as well as the top die and bottom die for each forging station (ie: buster, blocker, finisher). The CAD files for these can be imported into QForm from the following formats:
- 2D simulations use basic 2D dxf or iges drawings
- 3D simulations use solid body (MSBO) STEP and IGES files, or trimmed surface IGES representation.
These files can be exported by almost all 3D CAD systems
Top and bottom 3D tools ready for simulation
QForm uses high quality step format CAD files for input for 3D simulations. QForm will work with either kind of step file, AP203 or AP214. Step files retain information about geometrical entities and curvature that QForm uses to create the highest quality geometry for simulation. The old programming adage of 'garbage in, garbage out' holds true for simulation. You want to use the highest quality input geometry to ensure high quality simulation results.
QForm has powerful geometry editors for both 2D and 3D geometry.
The 2D geometry editor called QDraft is actually a fully functional 2D CAD system that allows the user to generate the geometry files without the need to leave QForm. It is also helpful for making modifications to geometry imported through dxf or iges format files and preparing these files for simulation.
The 3D geometry editor called QShape is a powerful tool that allows modification of imported step files. It even has the facility to create basic solid bodies such as cylinders or rectangular bar with rounded corners or any sector of these bodies. This feature is useful when it is necessary to replace the billet by another in an existing shl-file or to make simple tools for cogging or open die forging. QShape also allows surface models to be converted into solid body models needed for simulation. It has powerful error detection abilities that identify and fix common problems with step files. Objects can be moved and rotated, fillets can be added and unnecessary details like lettering, vents, and ejector pins can be eliminated. Thermal expansion factors can be applied to account for expansion due to heating.
The problem with STL format
Other forging simulation programs use STL format for the geometry of the dies. They use this format because it has been around for a long time and was always available for export from most CAD systems. The problem with STL is that it is a coarse mesh that looses all of the original geometrical information about the geometry.
Geometry imported through STL format
QForm geometry imported through step format
You can see the difference in these two geometries: One imported through STL format and the other through step format. It is clear which geometry will give the most accurate results.
QuantorForm originally developed QForm3D to utilize a STL import, but after a year of development they realized that the accuracy of the STL geometry was simply not good enough to give accurate simulation results. They scrapped a years worth of development work and focused on developing a step import that works well with popular 3D cad systems such as: SolidWorks, Unigraphics, Solid Edge, Pro E and others. It took a long time and a lot of effort to develop, but it was worth it.