From Music to Sand Painting-The next generation of powder bed-based additive manufacturing: multi-materials
In this talk, I would like to report how an ancient artwork technique by Tibet monks called Mandala has inspired us to develop a core device enabling one of the next generations of advanced manufacturing, in which both complex 3D shapes and materials composition can be designed and fabricated. The research has been conducted continuously for two decades to understand the mechanism behind and refine the highest resolution for industrial applications.
Additive Manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, is a designation for a family of recently emerged techniques in which complex shapes can be directly delivered on a platform by downloading a computer design file such as a CAD file. The components are assembled point by point, line by line or layer by layer without a mould and without machining. Current AM technologies still need to be improved in terms of part quality and part performance in comparison to traditional manufacturing. Part quality is being dealt with by greater machine control, better materials design/understanding, and by applying cutting edge high precision technologies, while part performance can be boosted using multiple material systems. It has been a dream for AM researchers from the early stage of AM development, i.e. to be able to control materials composition freely in 3D space. However, most current commercially available AM systems have been designed to produce parts using a single material, especially in the powder bed-based AM. Large amounts of attempts have been made to 3D print multiple materials with very limited success. This talk will report the state of the art of multi-materials additive manufacturing and discuss the new dry powder micro dispensing technology for SLS/SLM powder-based additive manufacturing.
Shoufeng Yang was a full Professor and Chair of Additive Manufacturing at the University of Southampton UK and KU Leuven Belgium before he returned to China and starts his industrial adventure recently. He received his B.Eng degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1994 and PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 1999, both from Tsinghua University, China. His main research interests are the next generation of powder bed-based additive manufacturing, in which both the material composition and the shape of objects are computer controlled throughout three-dimensional space. He has published more than 180 papers cited in Google Scholar with an H-index of 48 and with a total of citations>12800. He has pioneered the development and application of a novel dry powder dispensing technology for multi-materials additive manufacturing (MMAM). A wide range of materials can be dispensed including metal, polymer and ceramic. This project was selected for the prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (royalsociety.org/From-music-to-sand-painting/). His current research topics include multi-materials additive manufacturing, materials properties correlation and data correction, inkjet printing and dry powder printing, combinatorial materials research and tissue engineering scaffold fabrication. He is also a visiting professor at the Additive Manufacturing Centre at Nanyang Technological University Singapore, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Nanjing University of Science and Technology. He is on the Editorial Board of 8 international journals including Additive Manufacturing, Virtual and Physical Prototyping, founding member of the International Journal of Bioprinting and Associate Editor of the Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine. He is a grant reviewer of funding bodies from more than 10 different countries and a frequent reviewer of more than 70 journals. He has been invited to numerous science exhibitions and science festivals for public engagement.