"Engineering at the Interfaces"
Additive Manufacturing from Powders Institute
Technical Merit

Additive manufacturing is an enabling technology with great potential. Nevertheless, we face hard questions related to this technology from a materials, hardware, and manufacturing perspective. Central to this effort is answering whether or not additive manufacturing can be transformed into an efficient platform for manufacturing new materials and new structures with the performance and cost metrics required to displace conventional manufacturing. For performance metrics, we care about mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic properties. How can the residual stresses, porosity, and interparticle adhesion be tuned to improve both the strength and ductility of the parts? For cost metrics, we care about the life cycle of additively manufactured parts including energy consumption and waste powder concerns. Are the current AM tools built to address the improvements necessary in material and economic aspects of the technology? The NU Powder-based Additive Manufacturing Institute is formed to answer these key questions through materials, process control, and advanced manufacturing teams. The deliberate overlap in these identified areas affords the collaboration between the investigators required to overcome key cross-disciplinary technical challenges that remain in the field.

The materials team will address the core questions related to process-property relationships in additive manufacturing by investigating the physics, metallurgy and mechanics of the technology; staring from the individual powder particles ending with the mechanical usability of the end product.

The process control team will probe new tools and hardware designs that deliver next generation control over material microstructures and use raw materials optimally.

The manufacturing team will implement process metrology, in-situ sensor monitoring and data analytics to investigate parameter optimization and inform economic decision making.