Currently, there are only a handful of alloys qualified for printing with AM technology and the majority of these are pursued due to their utilization in conventional manufacturing. However, there is tremendous benefit in developing and qualifying novel alloys, specifically designed to take advantage of unique microstructure produced with AM processes. The bottleneck in such a development is speed and cost of developing optimum print parameters to produce defect-free parts.
The pyramidal parameter development scheme for print recipe optimization can be a slow and expensive process and involves characterization on hundreds of coupons over multiple builds. Analysis of builds of optimizing porosity, cracks, deformation, surface roughness and micro-structure can take a number of months to complete—and at this rate, the development of novel AM-specific alloys can be very slow and cost prohibitive.
Zeiss and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), working together at ORNL's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, are developing a novel, fully-automated solution to comprehensively evaluate a set of parameters in a day. Using Zeiss ParAM (a parameter selection process for additive manufacturing), Zeiss and ORNL have decreased the time necessary for testing. Besides qualifying novel alloys, the rapid parameter development process can also aid in increasing the speed and economy of the additive manufacturing to make the process cost-competitive to the traditional manufacturing process.Presented by: