Powder technology: why it is very important for additive manufacturing/3D printing?

Dry powder based 3D printing/Additive Manufacturing (AM) methods are one of the most important class of technologies in freeform manufacturing, which include selective laser sintering, selective laser melting, direct energy deposition, binder jetting etc. Current AM technologies still need to be improved in terms of part quality and part performance in comparison to traditional manufacturing. However, most current commercially available AM systems, especially the powder bed based systems, have been designed to produce parts using single material. Very little attempt have been made to 3D printing multiple materials. In this talk I would like to review the state of the art of multiple materials additive manufacturing and discuss the new dry powder micro dispensing technology we developed for powder based additive manufacturing.

Shoufeng Yang is a Chair Professor at University of Southampton, UK and Professor in KU Leuven, Belgium. His main research interests are the next generation of additive manufacturing, in which both the materials composition and the shape of objects are computer controlled throughout three dimensional space. He has pioneered the development and application of a novel dry powder micro dispensing technology for multiple materials additive manufacturing (MMAM). Wide range of materials can be dispensed including metal, polymer and ceramic. This project was selected for prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (royalsociety.org/From-music-to-sand-painting/). His current research topics include multiple materials additive manufacturing, artificial neural network (ANN), metamaterials, inkjet printing and dry powder printing, combinatorial materials research and tissue engineering scaffold fabrication. He is in Editorial Board of 8 international journals including Virtual and Physical Prototyping,  founding members of International Journal of Bioprinting and Associate Editor in Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine. He is grant reviewer of funding bodies from more than 10 different countries and frequent reviewer of more than 80 journals. He has been invited by numerous of science exhibitions and science festivals for public engagement.