Advances in Direct Metal Deposition
Quest for a material to suit the service performance is almost as old as the human civilization. An enabling technology which can build, repair or reconfigure components layer by layer or even pixel by pixel with appropriate materials to match the performance will enhance the productivity and thus reduce energy consumption. With the globalization, “Economic Space” for an organization is now spread all across the globe. Closed loop Direct Metal Deposition (DMD) has the potential to embrace both the challenges and change the manufacturing as we know it. Rapid Fabrication of three-dimensional shapes of engineering materials such as H13 tool steel and Nickel super alloys are now possible using Direct Materials Deposition (DMD) technique as well similar techniques such as Light Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) or directed light fabrication (DLF). However, DMD is has closed loop capability, which enables better dimension and thermal cycle control. This enables one to deposit different material at different pixels with a given height directly from a CAD drawing. The feed back loop also controls the thermal cycle. New Sensors are either developed or being developed to control geometry, cooling rate, microstructure, temperature and composition. Flexibility of the process is enormous and essentially it is an enabling technology to materialize many a design. Several cases will be discussed to demonstrate the additional capabilities possible with the new sensors. Conceptually, one can control the machine installed in Rochester (USA) to remotely manufacture a product from Manchester(U.K) through internet or satellite connection. This enable one to design in one country and manufacture near the customer. Such systems will be a natural choice for a Global “Economic Space”.
KeywordsAdditive Manufacturing Computer Numerical Control Solid Freeform Fabrication Economic Space Generalize Predictive Control
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