Tech Update


Penn State Project Proposes Better LPBF Models Than FEM

Thursday, September 10, 2020
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $547,000 grant to Penn State University, allowing researchers in the school’s Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) to develop new computer models to help improve real-time process control during 3D printing of metal parts using the laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) process. Leading the 3-yr. project is Qian Wang, associate head for administration in ME.

“The overall objective will be to improve part quality and consistency, which will help increase the economic competitiveness of metal additive manufacturing,” Wang says.

With expertise in dynamics and control, Wang expects that the newly developed computational models, compared to the currently used finite-element models, will capture the essential physics of the process with significantly reduced computational complexity.

"Through this project, we are trying to find a balance between representing physics as much as possible, while not resorting to overly expensive computation," she adds.


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