Swati Chandran Thirumangalath, Mechanical Engineer, Vader Systems LLC
Liquid Metal 3D printing is an important new Additive Manufacturing (AM) process because it’s dramatically faster and cheaper than powder bed fusion for aluminum additive manufacturing. It is highly scalable to meet the demand for large/high volume AM processes. It uses safe, easy to handle commodity priced wire feed stock.
This two part presentation highlights:
- Characteristics of the LM3DP process: drop on demand liquid metal printing using MagnetoJet technology (based on Magnetohydrodynamics and inkjet printing technology). This process feeds commodity wire directly into a heated chamber, where drop size is controlled by both the jetting process and nozzle design. A time varying magnetic field induces eddy currents within the liquefied metal generating a Lorentz force which causes the stream to eject as discrete droplets. This technology allows for speeds capable of 1000 droplets/second (yielding 1 lb. or more per hour) and is scalable for production volumes.
- Proof-of-principle: Examples of parts best suited for the LM3DP process; micrograph results showing higher density grain structures and uniformity with true inter-layer welding; the use of numerical simulations in engineering design for accurately predicting electromagnetic field effects, phase transformation, flow behavior and free surface deformation.