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Title: Additive Manufacturing at LANL: Advanced Characterization to Explore the Science of a New Manufacturing Method

Additive manufacturing (AM), or three-dimensional (3D) printing as it is more commonly known, is defined as the process of joining materials and creating objects by melting, sintering, or fusing material in a layer-by-layer fashion coordinated via 3D model data.1 Subtractive, or traditional, manufacturing methodologies often consist of machining/removing material—like a sculptor—or forming material through the application of pressure—like a potter. Conversely, in an AM process, material is added in individual volume elements and built up in a way similar to interlocking building blocks, but with volume elements that are typically the size of a grain of sand. The additive process often involves less waste when compared to subtractive techniques because material is only added when and where it is needed. Adjustments to the final structure are relatively straightforward and can be simply achieved by adjusting the 3D computer model. This makes the technology much more flexible than traditional, subtractive techniques where new tooling or forming equipment is usually needed to accommodate design changes. Also, the AM processes are beneficial because they permit the fabrication of unique geometries, such as miniaturized metal lattice structures, that cannot be achieved using traditional techniques. An example of a metal lattice structure is the Eiffelmore » Tower with its Figure 1. Schematic showing required linkages between experimental and modeling thrusts in order to achieve science-based qualification. Arrows showing linkages are color-coded according to the funded projects listed. geometric, interconnecting struts that reduce the overall weight of the tower while maintaining strength. In AM, the size of the struts can be made smaller than the diameter of a human hair, which further reduces weight while maintaining strength—a combination of properties that can benefit many applications.« less
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 9999-0016
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Stockpile Stewardship Quarterly
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 9999-0016
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Programs (DP) (NA-10)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: