Numerical Simulation for Manufacturing


The fundamental objective of this course is to provide students with the necessary knowledge to perform numerical simulations of the main technological manufacturing processes, such as additive manufacturing, welding, plastic deformation and plastic injection.

At the end of this course, the student is expected to have acquired knowledge, skills and competencies that enable him/her

- Describe the main parameters of manufacturing processes and their influence on the result;

- Identify and understand the main phenomena (multiphysics) involved in the manufacturing processes;

- Understand the theoretical basis of the Finite Element Method (FEM).

- The potential and the limitation of FEM to describe these phenomena;

- Simulate with FEM the main manufacturing processes using seven commercial computer programs: Octave, Matlab, SolidWorks Simulation, Abaqus, Ansys and LS Dyna.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Rui Fernando dos Santos Pereira Martins, Telmo Jorge Gomes dos Santos


Weekly - 2

Total - 28

Teaching language





Jorge Rodrigues e Paulo Martins, Tecnologia Mecânica -vol.1 e vol.2 ed. Escolar Editora, 2010

Eugenio Onate, Structural Analysis with the Finite Element Method, Springer, 

A.J.M. Ferreira, Problemas de Elementos Finitos em MATLAB, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, ISBN: 9789723113297

J.N. Reddy, An Introduction to the Finite Element Method. McGraw-Hill, ISBN: 0-07-112799-2,

Apontamentos dos docentes para a UC

Teaching method

The teaching method used in theoretical-practical classes is the oral presentation of subjects, accompanied by the teacher''s drawings, schemes and summaries on the blackboard. Audiovisual aids are used for the projection of slides. During the resolution of application exercises - which involve numerical simulation of manufacturing processes - the teacher presents a problem and solves it with the students to indicate the resolution strategy.

The realization of teamwork, as well as the realization of a theoretical-practical test, allows the evaluation of the knowledge learned by students throughout the semester and the effectiveness of knowledge transmission.

Evaluation method

The evaluation of knowledge will be carried out through:

1 theoretical-practical test (TP) about all the subjects taught (40%);

1 teamwork (TG) (maximum of 3 students), with report, presentation and discussion (60%).

The approval in the Project or Laboratory Evaluation component presupposes a classification equal to or superior to 9.50 values in the teamwork. The approval in the component of Theoretical-Practical Evaluation depends on a grade equal to or higher than 9.50 in the theoretical-practical test. The grades will be rounded to the hundredths.

Frequency/attendance of the curricular unit, valid for one year, is obtained when the mark of the teamwork is equal to or higher than 9.50.

The final classification (NF), relative to the Test''s Period, is calculated according to the following formula, and the student is considered approved when the mark is equal or superior to 9.50:

NF = 0.4 x TP + 0.6 x TG (To obtain approval NF>=9.50)

The final classification (NF), relative to the Exams'' Period, is calculated according to the following formula, and the student who has a mark equal or superior to 9.50 will be considered approved:

NF = 0.4 x Exam + 0.6 x TG (To obtain approval NF>=9.50)

Subject matter

1. Descriptive review of the main manufacturing processes:
- Subtractive;
- Additive (fusion and solid state welding) and Foundry;
- Plastic deformation in the sheet and the mass.

2. The influence of the main variables and parameters in manufacturing processes; need for analysis and optimisation. The role of numerical simulation: potentialities and limitations.

3. The main phenomena (multiphysics) involved in the manufacturing processes:
- Thermal: heat conduction/flow, fusion, solidification, electric arc, Joule effect;
- Mechanical: friction, deformation (elastic and plastic);
- Fluids: incompressible fluid flow;

4. Finite Elements Method Fundamentals: Finite Differences Method, FEM formulation, different types of elements: bar, shell, solid, shape functions, mesh generation, boundary conditions, convergence, errors, linear and non-linear analysis

5. Practical applications of FEM to manufacturing processes:
Finite Element Software (Solidworks Simulation®, ABAQUS, ANSYS®, LS-DYNA®). Introductory exercises: linear, geometric non-linear and plasticity, thermal analysis.
Additive Manufacturing (Generative Design), Welding /TIG dressing, Plastic deformation (stamping, hammering and shot peening), and Plastic injection.


Programs where the course is taught: