AFRL, Lawrence Livermore National Lab Partner to Mitigate Metal 3D Printing Issues

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are studying ways to mitigate issues in 3D printing or additively manufacturing metal parts.

An AFRL-based team has used serial sectioning, a 3D metallographic method, to address metal printing issues such as liquid splatters, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base said Friday. Other challenges addressed by the effort include defect prevention and the control of complex melt dynamics. These issues may result from small processing changes.

“The collaboration is an excellent example of how cutting edge materials characterization tools and advanced process modeling can be combined to investigate behaviors in the AM process that can lead to detrimental flaws,” said Eddie Schwalbach, research materials engineer at AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.

The effort would require diagnostics and high-fidelity multiphysics to evaluate additive manufacturing stability, AFRL said.

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