Applications of Additive Manufacturing – A Review

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Applications of Additive Manufacturing – A Review


Mechanical Engineering Department, Qassim University,Saudi Arabia

Vipul Gupta

Mechanical Engineering Department, PTU,India

Abstract Traditional techniques of manufacturing have several backlogs that include high operational costs, lower productivity and problems associated with environmental issues. Additive manufacturing is a novel method that has overcome these issues to a greater extent, wherein deposition of substrate on solid interface is done in a schematic layer by layer method. This method can be used to manufacture products with higher precision rate. The aim of current work is to provide an overview of these modern methods of manufacturing and show their applicability over a wide range of industries.

KeywordsComponent; formatting; style; styling; insert (key words)

various processes of AM that enable repair, replacement, refurbishment of metallic products. Zhang et al. [12] developed a new Composite AM, using a KUKA KR6 R700 robot as shown in Figure 2.


    The technique of Additive manufacturing (AM) involves manufacturing of parts using design data directly from raw products. Unlike other conventional methods, it requires no expensive die or tools. There are several techniques that including Stereo lithography, Fusion deposition, Laser melting, laser sintering, electron beam melting, powder deposition etc. [1, 2].

    Pinkerton showed use of lasers in additive manufacturing methods [3]. Steuben et al incorporated thermal models for a broader range of AM processes [4]. Mihret et al. [5] demonstrated use of CFD in additive manufacturing [5]. Elahinia et al. [6] investigated manufacturing of Nickel Titanium using AM techniques [6]. Eric et al. [7] showed that increasing the speed of coating leads to an increase in surface roughness of substrate-part interface. Zanardini et al. [8] introduced Product Service Systems (PSS) concept in AM as depicted in figure no 1.

    Figure no1: Study Cases

    Yoo et al. [9] developed a 3-step model of technology development towards additive manufacturing of function- integrated mechatronic systems. Wirth et al. [10] pushing AM beyond the conventional boundaries by creating PIAM as platform for all unconventional and re-created aspects of material science, manufacturing, tooling, design, simulation and standardization. Maija et al. [11] proposed

    Figure no 2: Experimental setup [12]

    A 3D nozzle was developed to print reinforced carbons. This allows reinforcement in all planes as continuous fibres can jump from one layer to the next without cutting. Spalleka et al. [13] provided a Specific adaptation located within a fixed solution space without product features. This needed a detailed product structure planning in order to define scope of product structure limits shown in figure no 3. During the conception and design phases of the product development, the constraints of individualization were assessed as see in figure no 3[13].

    Figure no 3: Design process of specific adaptation [13]


    AM is having an increasing role in many industries, and AM capabilities now cover a wide ranges of applications as summarized by figure 4 [14].

    Figure no 4: Applications of AM methods [14]

    Figure no 5 compares various economic and technological aspects of AM processes. Moroni proposed a method to orient a part considering all components as a functional assembly taking a case study of universal U-joint shown in figure no 14 [15]. This procedure defined significantly affects the final fabricated part/product. Williams et al. [16] introduced an intelligent application of materials with site-specific properties allowing more efficient components and use of resources. Schroder et al. [17] developed a business model which evaluated the process costs of additive manufacturing technologies.

    Figure no 5: Economic and technological comparisons of AM methods [16]


    Commercially, Titanium based alloys are widely used as a raw material in medical implants [18]. Parka et al.

    [19] compared the morphological changes and concentration of light elements (O and N) in products from unused Ti powder that was recycled 50 times. Ahna et al. [20] investigated the mechanical and micro-structural

    characteristics of commercial purity (CP) titanium implants with various porosities. Zhou et al. [21] developed a three- dimensional model of the arc to simulate molten pool dynamics. Figure no 6 shows simulated results for temperature distribution and electromagnetic forces.

    Figure no 6: Temperature distribution and electromagnetic forces [21]

    Sun et al. [22] developed a novel method to fabricate Ti-6Al-4V powder for injection molding process. They were able to predict a linear variation of the oxygen content with the specific surface area of a milled hydride. Abha et al. [23] presented a Lattice Boltzmann based algorithm for layer generation, energy absorption, evaporation, and wetting. Bao et al. [24] studied smooth particle hydrodynamic (SPH) technique by Autodyn software. Dunbara et al. [25] conducted study on temperature distributions and distortions during laser bed fusion method (LBFM) using a setup. Zinoviev et al. [26] simulated the grain structure developed during laser additive manufacturing and discussed effects of heat source on grain size. Wang et al.

    [27] predicted the distributions of residual stresses in Inconel 625 walls fabricated by using direct energy deposition as shown in figure no 7. Heat treatment method may be used to relieve these stresses, but it also changes the micro-structure of material.

    Figure no 7: Residual stress contours

    Kanninen et al. [28] fabricated fuel cells using laser additive manufacturing. Hence, they demonstrated use AM for proto typing purpose. Habib et al. [29] optimized the deposition direction taking into complexity of contour which minimizes deposition time. Hodge et al. [30] have predicted residual stress concentration in Selective laser melting

    (SLM)method using various models of heat transfer and solid mechanics. Dialami el al. [31] have proposed a new finite element based method for predication of residual stresses and distortion of parts produced by additive manufacturing. Zhang et al. [32] have used neuron fuzzy interface systems (NFIS) for prediction of residual stresses in Aluminum components used for aircraft industry. Yang et al. [33] have predicted residual stresses on a 6Al-4V Titanium based work piece using finite element analysis. Meyghani et al. [34] made comparative study of results obtained from ABAQUS, ANSYS and FLUENT based simulations for Friction stir welding process. Kortabarri et al. [35] made a comparative study of stress concentration on a Inconel 718 based work piece. Wong et al. [36] found that stresses can be controlled by decreasing thickness of substrate material layer during AM. Chua el al. [37] proposed a model for predication of residual stresses in orthogonal cutting processes. Hoque et al.

    [38] studied residual stresses produced during laser bed fusion processes. Korner et al. [39] have used Lattice Boltzmann structure to model powdered beds. Peng et al. [40] showed effects of entrapment of gas bubbles in nickel super alloy. An ABAQUS based algorithm presented by Liu et al.

    1. to simulate the residual stresses developed. Vastola et al.

    2. have analyzed the residual stress in a work piece of Ti6Al4V based alloy made by electron beam melting process.

    Mukherjee et al. [43] investigated effects of residual stresses n an Inconel 817 substrate manufactured using laser beam technology. These computed results can be useful to study the delaminating, layer separation and warping processes occurring during AM. Li et al. [44] developed concept of virtual heat source to study stresses developed during laser melting process.


    A typical flow chart for manufacturing products by this method is shown in figure no 8. The process of AM can be divided into two phases: Virtual visualization and physical manufacturing.

    Figure no 8: Flow chart for AM [45]

    In Electron beam melting the machine distributes a layer of metal powder onto a build platform, which is melted by the electron beam. The build platform is then lowered so that metal powder will be coated on top [46]. Scherillo et al.

    [47] studied microstructure of sheets of TI6Al4V alloy made

    using EBM and Linear Friction Welding (LFW). The comparison of simulation and analytical findings was done by measuring the spacing evolution under the solidification condition [48]. Poly Jet printing process consists of use of ultraviolet bulbs and photopolymer materials. In this process, each sprayed polymer layer is cured by UV light to produce fully cured solid parts. Two different photopolymer materials may be used for building, one for the fabrication of actual model and another gel like material for supporting features [49]. Stereo lithography (SL) process starts with a model in a CAD software that is then translated to a STL file in which the pieces are cut in slices having information for each layer. A novel version of this process has been developed with a higher resolution in which layer thickness of less than 10 m can be achieved [50, 51]. Laminated manufacturing (LOM) [52] process is based on the principle of lamination. This technology fabricates parts followed by a subtractive step which cuts the outline with a CO2 laser cutter. After each outline has been cut, the roll of paper is advanced, and then a new layer is glued onto the stack. The process is repeated until the whole part is fabricated which is followed by trimming, hand finishing and curing are required.


    This section discusses various industrial application of AM processes. These methods have been used in wide range of purposes that include aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, tooling and medicinal applications. Aerospace sector has shown interest in these technologies because of its ability to fabricate direct metal parts such as from titanium, and the ability to fabricate complex and higher performance products easily without any tooling [53]. SL is being used to manufacture anatomical implants, tailor- made biomedical devices such as hearing aids and has proven to facilitate and speed up the intensive planning of surgical procedures [53]. Some of challenges studied through the literature of AM technology are as follows:

    1. The misunderstanding consideration for using rapid prototyping technique for fabrication of prototypes only as it can be used in producing finished products.

    2. Adequate strength and accuracy are required for metallic parts.

    3. Higher costs and lower quality of produced products that are hard to recycle.

    4. Layer thickness optimization effects the processing time and needs larger data files.


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