Advancing additive manufacturing by slashing support

With 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, a machine creates a part by adding material in layers, building the object from the ground up. Because each new layer needs to be supported by the layer below it, there’s a limit to how much one layer in a complex part can jut out over the next. As a result, manufacturers often need to build structures to support a part as it’s being printed.

But after the part is completed, removing that supporting material can be costly,” says Xiaoping Qian, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “These support structures are sometimes referred to as sacrificial structures, because they are discarded in the end, which wastes material and build time.”

Click HERE to read the full article and learn how engineers at UW are addressing these issues.