The technique may also have applications in the field of powder metals:
These are used in several different component production processes, one of which is laser sintering, although not the 3D printing kind. The ability to alloy metals by blending them in powder form, instead of via melting at a later stage of the production process, saves a lot in waste, among other benefits. This could be yet another way of making those components.
I agree, it seems likely that this could be applied to higher volume manufacturing when the process has been refined. Although to date, AM techniques have at most produced low-volume parts, there are efforts afoot to make them capable of higher production volumes.
Quite agree. This will get faster, cheaper and the build envelopes will grow.
The picture in the article gives the a nice illustration of the kind of formerly "impossible to manufacture" structures that can be created. Right now high demand applications like aerospace and auto racing, medical too, will push this forward.
From a design perspective the possibilities of combining this with FEA and/or CFD software is quite exciting. Could greatly reduce the trade-offs in a design.
Really fascinating stuff! I am quite sure that the laser method of "curing" the amalgamation of powders is perhaps the best at this time. I look forward to reading the details in the metallurgical journal to learn more.
Great example of pushing the envelope with additive manufacturing technology. Would this be a method for producing one-off parts or as a replacement technique for pumping out commercial parts on a production scale?
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
SpaceX has 3D printed and successfully hot-fired a SuperDraco engine chamber made of Inconel, a high-performance superalloy, using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). The company's first 3D-printed rocket engine part, a main oxidizer valve body for the Falcon 9 rocket, launched in January and is now qualified on all Falcon 9 flights.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and MIT have 3D-printed a new class of metamaterials that are both exceptionally light and have exceptional strength and stiffness. The new metamaterials maintain a nearly constant stiffness per unit of mass density, over three orders of magnitude.
Smart composites that let the material's structural health be monitored automatically and continuously are getting closer to reality. R&D partners in an EU-sponsored project have demonstrated what they say is the first complete, miniaturized, fiber-optic sensor system entirely embedded inside a fiber-reinforced composite.
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