Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing also known as 3D printing, is the generic name for building 3D dimensional objects by way of laying down successive thin slices of the object in a layer-by-layer manner. This is contrary to conventional manufacturing techniques involving multiple steps where the final shape of the component is achieved, for instance, by casting, forming, and material removal. AM processes are rapidly advancing and thus enable fabrication of complex components with high topological freedom within a single manufacturing step. The unique advantage of AM is that, as the geometrical complexity of the object increases, no additional process time or cost get introduced.

Schematic illustration of powder bed fusion technique, the most well-known metal additive manufacturing method.


The powder bed fusion process is a type of metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique which enables fabrication of highly complex geometries with unprecedented design freedom. Therefore metal AM has become a key enabling technology for topology optimization and lattice materials to realise curring edge high-performance components in high tech applications. However, PBF still suffers from manufacturing constraints which, can cause various types of defects in the part. We investigate the AM process through computational models accounting for various levels of detail to study the thermal evolution and overheating, residual stresses and part distortions. Moreover, we employ even simpler process models of AM process within topology optimization framework to develop novel design schemes for AM.

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