IUPUI Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology

IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology


Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D Printing of Metallic and Ceramic Materials

1. Economic Fabrication of Metallic Components for Energy Production through Powder Reuse in Additive Manufacturing

15-5 PH1 SS powder

In order to obtain the material savings associated with utilizing the powder bed process for additive manufacturing (AM), it is critical to understand and optimize the number of times powders can be reused before desired material and mechanical properties are compromised. The AM powders are expensive and poorly utilized in a typical build with only 5 to 20% of the powder volume fused into useful parts. It is important to develop new technologies to assist AM industry to quantitatively determine how to reuse the powders. In this study, a new technology will be developed focusing on combining fresh powders and recycled metallic AM powders (Co, Ni, Fe, Ti based), a group of metals important to energy production, aerospace, and medical industries, to economically fabricate AM components. The technology will include: (1) quantification of powder chemical composition and morphology for fresh and recycled for multiple build specimens; (2) examining the mechanical and physical properties of the printed components compared as a function of the number of times the powders are reused/recycled; (3) evaluation of components using new non-destructive testing methods, e.g., micro-CT. These findings are important as standards are being developed to specify and control the feed material, process and manufactured AM components.


(1) Jing Zhang, Yi Zhang, Xingye Guo, Weng-Hoh Lee, Bin Hu, Zhe Lu, Yeon-Gil Jung, H. Lee, (2016) Characterization of Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Direct Metal Laser Sintered 15-5 Ph1 Stainless Steel Powders and Components, in TMS 2016: 145 Annual Meeting & Exhibition: Supplemental Proceedings (ed TMS), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781119274896.ch2

2. Additive Manufacturing of Mold for Sand Casting

3D printing casting mold for pump bowl

Additive manufacturing enables efficiently producing molds for sand casting. In this study, two mold casting processes, traditional sand casting process and sand 3D printing process, are systematically compared. Using fabrication of pump bowl as a case study, the two processes are compared in terms of weight saving, surface finish, design allowance, and fettling work. The results of this study indicate significant advantages in employing rapid prototyping technology in the production of mold.


(1) Nishant Hawaldar, Jing Zhang, Additive Manufacturing of Molds for Sand Casting (poster), 2017 IUPUI Research Day Award

(2). Hyun-Hee Choi, Eun-Hee Kim, Hye-Yeong Park, Geun-Ho Cho, Yeon-Gil Jung, Jing Zhang, Application of dual coating process and 3D printing technology in sand mold fabrication, Surface and Coatings Technology , 2017 (Article reference: SCT22519)

(3). Hye-Yeong Park, Eun-Hee Kim, Hyun-Hee Choi, Geun-Ho Cho, Yeon-Gil Jung, Jing Zhang, New conversion process for fabricating a ceramic core by a 3D printing technique, Surface and Coatings Technology, 2017 (Article reference: SCT22518)

3. Multi-Scale Multi-Physics Models for Metal Based Additive Manufacturing Process

DMLS process model

Distortion and cracking are primary failures in metal components fabricated by additive manufacturing process. The growth of reliable methods to improve the component quality created from additive manufacturing technologies greatly depends on the quantitative understanding of the 3D printing process. To obtain a greater understanding of the process, a multi-scale multi-physics modeling framework, spanning from atomic, particle, to component levels, is developed. In the atomic level molecular dynamics (MD) model, the temperature-dependent diffusion due to laser heating is studied. Additionally, using the particle-based discrete element modeling (DEM) model, simulations including particle insertion, particle recoating, and temperature change due to laser beam sintering are performed. At AM component level, a finite element model (FEM) is developed to simulate the laser sintering fabrication of a metal component through DMLS process. To accurately capture the layer-by-layer feature in DMLS process, birth/death elements are implemented in the model. A transient heat transfer analysis is performed first. The temperature distribution is then passed to a structural analysis, so that the stress distribution and deformation are predicted. The predicted distortion due to residual stress is in good agreement with experimental measurements. In summary, the model framework provides a design tool to optimize the metal based additive manufacturing process.


(1) Yi Zhang, Jing Zhang, Finite Element Simulation and Experimental Validation of Distortion and Cracking Failure Phenomena in Direct Metal Laser Sintering Fabricated Component, Additive Manufacturing, Vol.16, pp.49–57, 2017

(2) Weng Hoh Lee, Yi Zhang, Jing Zhang, Discrete Element Modeling of Powder Flow and Laser Heating in Direct Metal Laser Sintering Process, Powder Technology 315, pp. 300-308, 2017

(3) Yi Zhang, Jing Zhang, Sintering Phenomena and Mechanical Strength of Nickel Based Materials in Direct Metal Laser Sintering Process - A Molecular Dynamics Study, Journal of Materials Research , 31(15), pp. 2233-2243, 2016

(4) Yi Zhang, Linmin Wu, Xingye Guo, Stephen Kane, Yifan Deng, Yeon-Gil Jung, Je-Hyun Lee, Jing Zhang, Additive manufacturing of metallic materials - a review, Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance , DOI: 10.1007/s11665-017-2747-y, 2017

(5) Yi Zhang, Linmin Wu, Xingye Guo, Yeon-Gil Jung, Jing Zhang, Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Electrical Resistivity in Sintering Process of Nanoparticle Silver Inks, Computational Materials Science , Vol. 125, pp. 105 - 109, 2016