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What Makes a Good Wire-DED Part?

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Conference Abstract: One of the first questions we face as a wire DED AM company from new or potential customers is: “What parts should we send you” or “what parts should we be evaluating for your process.” It is essential early in the customer-supplier relationship to establish a general understanding of what parts NTi is best suited to manufacture, regardless of end-application. There are several design considerations to evaluate, internally derived design rules to abide by, machine envelopes to build within, ability to 100% inspect the printed form, and more! For the aerospace industry, Buy-To-Fly Improvement Ratio is the driving attribute to account for. In most instances, NTi can manufacture components with 50% or greater BTF improvements compared to legacy methods of manufacturing (subtractive). Most parts that exhibit a large build height in the Z-direction while requiring minimal to no support structures exhibit a high BTF. Overall part size is also an important consideration as it must exhibit enough absolute material and machining savings to offset additional AM costs.
One design limitation to account for, is the necessary inclusion of a substrate of identical material quality (to that of the wire) to print upon, and where it can exist within the customer-deliverable part to maximize material savings. If a part is particularly small, but exhibits other desirable characteristics for RPD, it may allow for nesting; or including several parts per substrate to be printed within one machine atmosphere at a time, and then separated after printing. Another consideration that is important in the evaluation of a geometry is the wall angles, overhangs, radii, and thickness of walls/webs; if any.
The most important design criteria for NTi when designing a preform, is the ability to 100% inspect the printed material using traditional inspection techniques. This and more will be covered in my presentation!
  • Joseph Girard
    Senior Additive Manufacturing Engineer
    Norsk Titanium