Additive Manufacturing (AM)
Additive manufacturing (AM) activities have been started relatively recently at KTH as a result of the push, efforts and initiatives at MMS division, beginning from 2016. To establish and strengthen research in this area, a new assistant professor position was added to the IIP staff from February 2019.The AM team is working closely with the department of materials engineering (MSE), the department of machine design (MMK) and the department of solid mechanics as the members of AM initiative at KTH. This collaboration is to develop AM courses, to guide master theses, to synchronise the research activities and to develop AM research infrastructure at KTH.
The AM team is working with these members on a project called turn2AM (every year on a new subject) to see the impact of AM techniques on metal part qualities made from superalloys. MMS has also collaborated with Siemens and Sandvik to develop processes for high-performance superalloys using EBM. The AM team is also investigating to develop shape memory alloys with AM for biomedical applications, as a collaboration with Karolinska institute. In addition, MMS is currently guiding various AM industrial projects through thesis works for Postnord, Sandvik, Atlas Copco, and Erikson.
KTH is actively developing number of projects on AM. The projects are:
- Near-net shaped manufacturing of superalloy components by EBM AM Process (an ongoing PhD study),
- Hybrid Additive Manufacturing of high-performance alloys (an ongoing PhD study),
- Design, optimization and manufacturing highly efficient 3D printed heat exchangers (a project from Department of Energy Technology).
The research challenges the AM research is dealing with include:
- High cost and limited palette of materials for AM processing
- Low speed of AM production
- formation of defects such as porosity and cracks in AM;
- AM machines are typically designed to only process materials with a certain level of quality
- Unsatisfactory material performance due to poor processing parameters or suboptimal material design
- Unsatisfactory geometrical shape and surface properties after AM
- Unknown value and influence of processing parameters