Layer Manufacturing Technologies (LMT) is an emerging research area that are based upon building an object by adding materials instead of the conventional methods of removing material from a workpiece or forcing a workpiece into another form through the u se of pressure and temperature.
LMT enable completely new products to be produced both with respect to geometrically freedom and material mixtures. Also, such technologies make one-of-a-kind-production and small series cost-effective to produce due to t he independence between unit cost and size of production series. Thus, such technologies may meet the increasing demand of products with complex geometries, special and gradient material characteristics as well as customization within the fields of medici ne, consumer goods, automotive, space, electronics, moulding and more.
Unfortunately, no existing LMT technology covers the need for fully functional metal and ceramic objects (beyond the prototyping level). The Metal Printing Process developed by SINTEF has the potential to be the first Layer Manufacturing Technology that covers this need.
In the ongoing MPP SIP (proof of concept), the research team has succeeded (despite 20 % cut in the proposed funding) to reach most of the sub-goals on the path to a fully functional MPP-machine. However, several research challenges are yet to be accomplished – the most important ones are the layer-by-layer sintering unit, the optimization of powder transfer functionality and software development (object slicing and PC communication). These challenges are to be solved before any commercial or industrial value is released.
Three PhD candidates were included in the ongoing MPP SIP. Due to late employment and pregnancy two of the candidates will join phase 2 of the MP P project. The budget for all three candidates lies within phase 1. The PhD studies will be conducted at the NTNU departments Production and Quality Engineering, and Theoretical Physics.
SIPNKOMP-SIP-NHD: Andre nasjonalt viktige kompetansefelt