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SBIR/STTR

A Novel 3D Printer to Support Additive Manufacturing of Gradient Metal Alloy Structures, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Gradient metal alloy structures possess multi-functional properties that conventional monolithic metal counterparts do not have. Such structures can potentially change the paradigm of material selections and mechanical designs to enable more efficient space vehicles to be built. Existing laser-based additive manufacturing techniques for gradient metal alloy fabrication suffer from the following two major drawbacks: high system cost and slow printing speed. In this proposal, AlphaSense details the development of a novel 3D printer for the fabrications of gradient metal alloy structures. Key innovations of this proposal include the following: a) The fabrication of gradient metal alloy parts using low-cost resin as starting materials, b) The development of novel printing suspensions containing micro-/nano- sized metal particles and photo-curable resins to fabricate the green parts, and c) The application of a Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector for simultaneous layer exposure. With such innovations, the merits of the proposed 3D printing method for metal part fabrication include the following: a) Low fabrication cost, b) High printing speed, c) Superior printing quality, d) Easy to scale up and e) Easy and well-controlled process. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

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