Northwestern University Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Advanced Manufacturing Processes Laboratory

AMPL Videos

Metal 3D Printing: Versatile Yet Challenging 
Additive Manufacturing

This short video explains some of the challenges facing metal 3D printing technologies and how researchers are trying to address them. A combination of high-energy x-ray experiments, multiscale multi-physics computer simulations, and data mining approaches can provide better understanding of these processes.

Double-Sided Incremental Forming

Double-Sided Incremental Forming (DSIF) is a relatively new concept for flexible sheet metal forming.

In DSIF, a sheet blank is clamped around its periphery and gradually deformed to a complex 3D freeform part using two strategically aligned stylus-type tools that follow pre-described toolpaths. The two tools, one on each side of the blank, can form a part with both concave and convex shapes incorporating highly-detailed features with excellent surface finish. In generalized DSIF, the top and the bottom tools typically have three degrees of freedom but can have up to six degrees of freedom. Their motions can be independently controlled or synchronized to achieve different desired outcomes.

Direct Energy Deposition

One additive manufacturing technology with enormous potential is laser deposition.

Unlike its powder-bed counterpart, laser deposition creates a 3D object by depositing powder directly into a small molten pool generated by a laser beam, to create solid material layer-by-layer. This technology is uniquely transformative in its ability to create multi-material, functionally graded components, repair or modify existing components, and add wear-resistant coatings.

LENS - Laser Engineered Net Shaping

LENS, or laser engineered net shaping, is a type of additive manufacturing process. It is essentially 3D printing with metal directly from a CAD design. In the process, a small amount of metal powder is delivered to the process zone through a nozzle, and a laser is focused in the area to melt the powders as they collect onto the substrate. The process was developed from laser cladding, which is basically a type of laser welding. The current issue with this process is mainly that there is a lack of dependable multi-physics process models capable of predicting material characteristics as built.

MRI: ARPI - Additive Rapid Prototyping Instrument

ARPI, as designed and built, is a multi-functional modular system composed of three subsystems (primary AM processing, secondary operations, and monitoring), each of which can function either in a stand-alone or integrated manner in a common command-and-control environment. ARPI provides an integrated processing platform and environment for enhancing part accuracy, surface finish, and material properties beyond the current capabilities of customary DED (currently the primary AM processing module). ARPI can be viewed as an advanced multi-functional 3D manufacturing platform offering the capability of future expansion as it is an open architecture instrument, easily reconfigurable for the exploration of new ideas.p>