University at Buffalo SUNY,
Keywords: inkjet, modeling
Summary:Inkjet printing is a well-established method for commercial and consumer image reproduction. As such, there is a lot of numerical research being performed in order to answer many crucial engineering challenges related to the process such as droplet velocity, droplet aerodynamics, travel time and impact at a substrate. The same principles that drive this technology can also be applied in the fields of functional printing and additive manufacturing. More specifically, conventional inkjet technology has been used to print a variety of functional media, tissues and devices by depositing materials ranging from polymers to living cells. In this presentation, we will review recent advances in the field of inkjet process modeling with a focus on the application of inkjet-based technology to the printing of 3D solid metal structures. Currently, most 3D metal printing applications involve deposited metal powder sintering or melting under the influence of an external directed energy source such as a laser (e.g. Selective Laser Sintering and Direct Laser Metal Sintering) or an electron beam (e.g. Electron Beam Melting) to form solid objects. However, such methods have disadvantages in terms of cost and process complexity, e.g. the accurate calibration of laser intensity and speed in advance of the 3D printing process. The presentation will also focus on modeling two novel inkjet-based techniques for metal 3D printing: magnetohydrodynamic molten metal ejection and binder jetting.