Researchers develop efficient approach to 3D print high-density metal parts

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have developed a new and more efficient approach to determine the right parameters in selective laser melting (SLM), an additive manufacturing process to print 3-D high-density metal parts.

SLM is a powder-based, additive manufacturing process where a 3-D part is produced, layer-by-layer, using a high-energy laser beam to fuse the metal powder particles. Some SLM applications require parts that are very dense, with less than 1% porosity, as the pores or voids are the weakest part of the material and most likely would result in failure.

But building functional parts and components to specific standards and performance specifications can be challenging because a large number of parameters must be set appropriately. Some of the key parameters include laser power, laser speed, distance between laser scan lines, scanning strategy and powder layer thickness. Read the full article.

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