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?
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.
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.
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.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a surface preparation method to improve joining carbon composites with aluminum, with potentially far-reaching ramifications for high-volume industrial applications.
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