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A physics-based modeling framework to assess the cost scaling of additive manufacturing, with application to laser powder bed fusion

##article.authors##

  • Kaitlyn Gee MIT
  • Suh In Kim MIT
  • Haden Quinlan MIT
  • A. John Hart MIT

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.31224/2200

Keywords:

3D-printing, Laser Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing (AM), numerical methods, numerical model, Selective laser melting, laser powder bed fusion

Abstract

Purpose - We present a framework to estimate throughput and cost of additive manufacturing (AM) as related to process parameters, material thermodynamic properties, and machine specifications. Taking a 3D model of the part design as direct input, the model uses a parametrization of the rate-limiting physics of the AM build process—herein focusing on laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) and scaling of melt pool geometry —to estimate part- and material- specific build time. From this estimate, per-part cost is calculated using a quantity-dependent activity-based production model.

 

Design/methodology/approach - Analysis tools that assess how design variables and process parameters influence production cost increase our understanding of the economics of AM, thereby supporting its practical adoption. To this aim, our framework produces a representative scaling among process parameters, build rate, and production cost.

 

Findings - For exemplary alloys and LPBF systems, predictions reveal the underlying tradeoff between production cost and machine capability, and look beyond the capability of currently commercially available equipment. As a proxy for build quality, the number of times each point in the build is re-melted is derived analytically as a function of process parameters, showcasing the tradeoff between print quality due to increased melting cycles, and throughput.

 

Originality/value - For exemplary alloys and LPBF systems, predictions reveal the underlying tradeoff between production cost and machine capability, and look beyond the capability of currently commercially available equipment. As a proxy for build quality, the number of times each point in the build is re-melted is derived analytically as a function of process parameters, showcasing the tradeoff between print quality due to increased melting cycles, and throughput.

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Posted

2022-03-01