Applications of metal additive manufacturing (AM) has increased substantially because it allows cost and resources efficient small-scale production required in industries such as aerospace and mold and die manufacturing. Geometric and dimensional accuracy of parts produced by AM is still subpar compared to conventional subtractive approaches. Recently, hybrid additive-subtractive called direct metal laser sintering hybrid milling (DMLS-HM) technology has been introduced which combines strengths and robustness of both additive and subtractive units. This thesis explores the adoption consequences and impacts of DMLS-HM through relative performance measures of mechanical and metallurgical properties as well as environmental impact assessment. This was achieved by first characterizing mechanical properties of Maraging steel powder and comparing it with conventional DMLS to understand the degree of variability. It was found out that DMLS-HM has superior mechanical properties for impact toughness and surface finish; however, tensile strength and hardness values were similar with DMLS. Environmental performance assessment was achieved by first identifying and finding the energy requirements in subsystems (additive and subtractive) of DMLS-HM and then converting into equivalent carbon emission. Carbon emission results for DMLS-HM printed geometry were compared with two other manufacturing approaches namely electron beam melting and conventional milling which fabricated the same geometry. The DMLS-HM process showed higher energy consumption during the part production stage with an average 84% more than EBM and CM processes. However, the CM was dominant in energy consumption during the procurement stage with an around 70% more energy than DMLS-HM and EBM processes. The outcome of this research project will contribute to the understanding of basic physics of energy consumption in AM and can be used in suitable process selection and setting sustainable manufacturing goals.
Performance Measures of Direct Metal Laser Sintering Hybrid Milling: Mechanical Properties and Environmental Performance Indicators.
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