It would be great to think that that we could put in place specifications that define the performance of a given powder in a specific AM application. A specification that makes it possible to answer the question ‘Can I print with this?’ and that safeguards the defining attributes of a printed product. Such specifications would have considerable value for:
- supplier choice and supply chain optimisation
- the assessment of new or alternative feeds for an established printer or application
- the development of novel AM powder feedstocks
And, of course, simply for QC.
So, is that currently feasible? Is there already sufficient understanding of the interplay between powder properties, printing efficiency and product quality to set up such specifications? In my opinion the answer is a qualified yes, certainly if you look at the practice of those leading the way. That said, there is still some way to go with certain processes, and when it comes to securely predicting printed product quality. That makes it an interesting time to consider what has been learned, what is currently possible and the focus for ongoing activity.
Find out more in our recent guest blog with TCT Magazine – ‘Is there a better way to specify powders for additive manufacturing?’.
You can also learn more about the importance of powder flow in additive manufacturing here - /applications/additive-manufacturing.