Radiant Deposition Additive Manufacturing, or RDAM, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) may dramatically change how we 3D print metals by introducing the possibility to laser melt three dimensional components formed with gradient metals alloys, or single components wherein different portions are made up of different metals.
The technique; as described by researchers from JPL, the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and Pennsylvania State University at University Park, consists of depositing layers of metal onto a rotating rod, transitioning metals from the inside of a print outwards, instead of layering from bottom to top.
This technique, which allows for the manufacturing of complex parts as single components can guarantee higher durability, and give engineers the ability to develop components with varying compositions, such as having high melting temperatures on the outer edges and low densities at the center, or magnetism that varies throughout the component. It also circumvents the problem of structural weakness caused by welding, which previously was the only other way to achieve similar results.
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