Dr. Dan J. Thoma

Dr. Dan Thoma has been working on the solidification behavior and processing-structure-property relationship in additive manufacturing since 1993. As the current Director of the Grainger Institute for Engineering at UWMadison, the technical thrust areas in Advanced Manufacturing, Accelerated Materials Discovery, and Energy and Sustainability all integrate effectively for the scientific goals and objectives in the verification and validations of materials designed with metal additive manufacturing.

Dan also has particular experience in the use of lasers, choppers, and controlled environments that have demonstrated the successful 3D printing of metals from Aluminum (Al) to Tungsten (W), including elemental blending during direct energy deposition.

Dan has been active within materials professional societies, where he was the president of The Minerals, Metals, Materials Society (TMS) in 2003, the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) in 2008, and the Federation of Materials Societies (FMS) in 2009- 2010. His expertise in materials and manufacturing was recognized in 2008 by being elected as a Fellow of ASM (American Society For Metals) International.

Dan Received his BS degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and his MS & PhD in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He has been employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 1992.

Speaker Session See Full Agenda

May 17, 2017

8:30 AM

Room: Calhoun Salon

Metal Additive Manufacturing: Strengths, Weaknesses & Opportunities

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.