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Optimization of AM Production Using Seed Flanges

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Seed flanges are build plates, starter plates, or complete parts that end up being part of the final production AM part. Seed flanges can be forged, cast, machined, or additively manufactured and can be made from the same or a different material as the base part. The use of seed flanges can provide many benefits, such as decreased cycle time, decreased print time, simplification of manufacturing processes, elimination of heavy bolted flanges, and reduction of part count in an assembly. This is particularly useful in the space industry where most often the weak point in an assembly is the junction between parts. The seed flanging technique can also allow for extremely complex and compact parts to be designed that were previously not possible using powder bed fusion Choosing the proper application to use a seed flange is very important as not all parts will reap the same benefits. When identifying a proper application, the main considerations are material selection, assembly complexity, production throughput, proper adhesion to the seed flange, heat treatment, seed flange alignment, and seed flange warping.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the benefits of using this process and what factors to consider when making ROI
  • Understand the most common engineering challenges that come with seed flanging and what strategies to take to help overcome them quickly.
  • Conduct and analysis of their portfolio of parts to look for good candidates that would benefit from using this process.