Cost Modeling and Depreciation for Reused Powder Feedstocks in Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing

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Barclift, Michael
Joshi, Sanjay
Simpson, Timothy
Dickman, Corey

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University of Texas at Austin


Cost modeling for Powder Fusion (PBF) has traditionally treated the material feedstock as a fixed cost. Given that a built-up geometry in PBF must be in a bed filled with surrounding powder, the material feedstock is susceptible to satellites, chemical contamination, and dissimilar properties with each subsequent reuse. In this paper, we extend an existing PBF cost model and propose a new financial depreciation model for reused metal powders. Using Sum-of-the-Years Digits depreciation, powder feedstock is valued as a function of build cycles endured by the material feedstock. A case study is presented on two example parts in Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). Results show that cost models using a fixed material cost can undervalue build jobs with a high value virgin powder by as much as 3-11% or 13-75% depending on the material and its maximum build cycles in PBF.


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