Metal Additive Manufacturing: Strengths, Weaknesses & Opportunities

  • Date: May 17, 2017
  • Time: 8:30 AM
  • Room: Calhoun Salon

Metal additive manufacturing has existed for over 20 years, but the growing maturity and increased utilization can be attributed to increasing digital control and decreasing fabrication unit costs. The intent of this study is to highlight the current scientific and technological opportunities afforded through the various metal 3D fabrication technologies. For example, directed energy techniques offer interesting potential in the repair of components, compositionally graded materials for multi-functional parts, and optimized impurity control. Moreover, powder bed technologies provide significant dimensional control for near-net shape fabrication. In all technologies, novel design strategies of components are possible, opening new functionality through topological optimization or other design techniques. Despite the overwhelming potential, the qualification of parts produced via metal additive manufacturing remains to be the key barrier for wide-spread utilization of the available technologies.   Consistency within and between different fabrication units requires attention. Examples of the opportunities and challenges will be presented.