“There is a very close cooperation between academia and industry. This is also reflected in CAM2, the Centre for Additive Manufacture – Metal, in which around 25 companies are involved and help define research questions”, says Uta Klement, and she continues:
“To achieve the United Nations SDGs, we need to fundamentally change the way we live, including the way we manufacture products. Additive manufacturing contributes to resource efficiency by reducing material waste and energy consumption. Additive manufacturing, AM, can also help to produce lightweight components, which will help reduce fuel costs and the carbon footprint of, for example, planes, cars, and trucks”.
Uta Klement is Professor in Materials Science at Chalmers University of Technology with emphasis on Electron Microscopy and is Head of the Division of Materials and Manufacture at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science. She is also heading the Surface and Microstructure Engineering research group.
Why is this technology so interesting?
“In addition to rapid prototyping through 3D printing, Additive Manufacturing can offer local on-demand spare parts production, customer-specific products, lightweight construction, functional integration, and the opportunity to implement completely new ideas. Product development and market entry can be accelerated significantly while cost reduction and sustainability goals can be achieved at the same time”, says Uta Klement.
What is the most exciting in the field?
“A broader adoption of the additive manufacturing technology depends on the ability to control the entire eco-system, involving pre-printing, printing, and post-printing. This is what we do in CAM2, the Centre for Additive Manufacture - Metal. In addition to a better understanding of the different parts of the process chain, there is currently much focus on quality assurance and the use of inline process monitoring systems together with AI to detect and avoid defects in built components. Also in operando measurements are of much interest to better understand the process and the formed microstructure.
Even though additive manufacturing enables the manufacture of parts with a high degree of complexity, internal cooling channels or lattice structures, the surface integrity of the parts is often of inadequate quality, where values for the surface roughness can be much higher than acceptable for many applications. Therefore, surface integrity plays an important role in defining the part's operational performance, which is why post-processing to improve the surface integrity of additively manufactured parts is critical to the introduction of the technology in its broadest sense and requires more attention”, says Uta.
Which materials can be used in Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing?
“Due to their ease of use and low melting temperatures, 3D printing began with polymeric materials. Today, additive manufacturing / 3D printing encompasses most types of materials, from polymers to metals, ceramics to living cells”.
Which is the most advanced object constructed using additive manufacturing?
“That is of course a matter of opinion. Being able to make custom body parts after trauma surgery can be seen as very important and advanced. But even parts that cannot be manufactured using conventional, i.e., subtractive processes, including material-saving lightweight structures, are very progressive and require a completely new design. For future space exploration, when we travel to Moon and Mars, Additive Manufacturing will be fundamental for producing the vital infrastructure”.
What are you most looking forward to at this seminar?
“I'm looking forward to interesting lectures that give a broad overview of what can already be done with Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing and what challenges we still face”.
Who should attend to the seminar?
“Everyone is welcome, from beginners to experts. I think the seminar offers something for everyone and everyone can learn something new.
I hope the participants learn during the seminar that additive manufacturing is very broad and a topic that will keep us busy for the next years to come”, Uta Klement concludes.
Register to the seminar