3D printing produces components with complex geometries that cannot be made by existing manufacturing processes. But 3D printing of metals is a highly complex process that encounters several difficulties, including:

  • Residual stresses that can distort the component
  • Internal pores that can weaken the metal
  • Slow build speeds that can limit the component size

Prof. Andrew Moore and his research team at IPaQS are addressing these issues in collaboration with Renishaw, the UK’s only manufacturer of 3D printing systems for metals. They have built an open-architecture 3D printing system that builds metal parts whilst enabling unique access to measure, model and control the manufacturing process. They have performed the first high-speed imaging of the interaction of the laser beam with the metal powder during a build, and observed and modelled the motion of powder particles induced by the laser plume

Additive Manufacturing 16, 177