Formation of Easy-To-Remove Supports in Laser Powder Bed Fusion through Selective Doping

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Date

2023

Authors

Sperry, M.G.
Carter, D.
Crane, N.B.
Nelson, T.W.

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Publisher

University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) is a popular Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique used c01m11only for metals. Metal paiis formed by LPBF generally require supports connecting the part to the print bed to hold up the strncture, remove heat, and minimize deformation due to solidification shrinkage. Because of these suppo1is, finished parts must be cut away from the build plate, and generally require additional machining to achieve the desired geometry. In this study, a carbon suspension was deposited in the 3 l 6L stainless steel powder bed at the interface between the support and the finished part. The added carbon reduces the co1Tosion resistance of the 3 l 6L. This allows full fusion of the support material to provide heat transfer and mechanical support during printing, while allowing the supports to etch preferentially by electrolytic etching. This causes the finished part to etch or break free from the supports without any need for machining, simplifying post-processing.

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