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Proceedings Paper

Laser-based additive manufacturing: where it has been, where it needs to go
Author(s): Khershed P. Cooper
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Paper Abstract

It is no secret that the laser was the driver for additive manufacturing (AM) of 3D objects since such objects were first demonstrated in the mid-1980s. A myriad of techniques utilizing the directed energy of lasers were invented. Lasers are used to selectively sinter or fuse incremental layers in powder-beds, melt streaming powder following a programmed path, and polymerize photopolymers in a liquid vat layer-by-layer. The laser is an energy source of choice for repair of damaged components, for manufacture of new or replacement parts, and for rapid prototyping of concept designs. Lasers enable microstructure gradients and heterogeneous structures designed to exhibit unique properties and behavior. Laserbased additive manufacturing has been successful in producing relatively simple near net-shape metallic parts saving material and cost, but requiring finish-machining and in repair and refurbishment of worn components. It has been routinely used to produce polymer parts. These capabilities have been widely recognized as evidenced by the explosion in interest in AM technology, nationally. These successes are, however, tempered by challenges facing practitioners such as process and part qualification and verification, which are needed to bring AM as a true manufacturing technology. The ONR manufacturing science program, in collaboration with other agencies, invested in basic R&D in AM since its beginnings. It continues to invest, currently focusing on developing cyber-enabled manufacturing systems for AM. It is believed that such computation, communication and control approaches will help in validating AM and moving it to the factory floor along side CNC machines.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 March 2014
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8970, Laser 3D Manufacturing, 897003 (6 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044255
Show Author Affiliations
Khershed P. Cooper, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8970:
Laser 3D Manufacturing
Henry Helvajian; Alberto Piqué; Martin Wegener; Bo Gu, Editor(s)

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