Additive Manufacturing

NOV 2018

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING is the magazine devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing and digital layering technology. We cover the promise and the challenges of this technology for making functional tooling and end-use production parts.

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AM / AM Partnerships additivemanufacturing.media 19 process variables—is a problem exacerbated by the fact that two different companies using different machines (or even the same machine) may use completely different settings to achieve similar microstructures for otherwise identical parts. The ADAPT Center is trying to draw correlations between the pro- cessing and the properties. "So, setting A on the machine might be some kind of proprietary setting that the machine manu- facturers developed," Brice says. "But we can distill that down into the fundamental quantities of energy per unit area, which doesn't give away anybody's secret in terms of the position of that knob on their machine." And those scientific and fundamental quantities can be transferred between equipment providers. In other words, the ADAPT Center aims to decode the fundamental physics of en- ergy input, mass flow and time, and allow those fundamentals to dictate how an additive process is occurring. For instance, last year Lockheed Martin was in the process of qualifying material to make propellant tanks for satellites. While the work was occurring in a very narrow space for a very specific application, the data that the ADAPT Center could collect while Lockheed performed the work would be potentially and broadly valuable to the entire AM community. Since Lockheed is an ADAPT Center member, the center has been able to collect excess material and scrap that's either post-tested or hasn't been tested, and sample that data as well as the parts. Because this excess material is being used in a qualified aerospace process, the center can use that data to formulate connections between out- comes and qualification programs. Once this data is entered into the center's master database, Brice argues, it will reduce the need to recreate massive datasets through retesting after changes to an additive process. This sort of equivalency testing also reduces the cost barrier for a new supplier and opens up the supply chain. "If we can help influence how certifying agencies such as DoD, FAA and NASA approach process and material qualifi- cation and part certification for additive parts, I think we'll have been successful," Brice says. "You have to come up with a construct that gives them the confidence that what you've done meets scientific and statistical rigor so that you know airplanes aren't going to fall out of the sky. There are a dozen different companies supplying equipment in the powder-bed metal additive space. You don't want to have to treat each of those suppliers as unique. There has to be some commonality, which is what we're driving to here at the ADAPT Center: find that commonality, distill it down to the fundamentals, and influence how materials from additive processes are qualified for use in critical applications." Sales@sodick.com (847) 310-9000 HYBRID METAL 3D PRINTER Create Your Future • Warpage Control Technology (±20 µm) • Automated Material Recovery • Automatic Interference Correction • 9 RMS Surface Finish • Rigid Cast Construction (12,000+ lbs)

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