Although metal 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) is a fairly new technology, its history is deeply rooted in the field of metallurgy and materials science. Researchers such as Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Anthony Rollett recognize materials-science research as an integral component in the transition of 3D printing into a widespread manufacturing process. The research area is necessary in order for manufacturers to make stronger, more-reliable 3D-printed metal parts.
“The 3D-printing process is a high-speed welding process at its heart,” explained Rollett, professor of materials science and engineering. “Similar to welding, we can optimize the materials against the additive-manufacturing (AM) process so that we can produce parts with the maximum strength, best possible fatigue resistance and greatest corrosion resistance.”