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A novel methodology to manufacture complex metallic sudden overhangs in weld-deposition based additive manufacturing

Jayaprakash Sharma Panchagnula (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India)
Suryakumar Simhambhatla (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 4 August 2022

Issue publication date: 27 January 2023




Amongst various additive manufacturing (AM) techniques for realizing the complex metallic objects, weld-deposition (arc)-based directed energy AM technique is attaining more focus over commercially available powder bed fusion techniques. This is because of the capability of high deposition rates, high power and material utilization, simpler setup and less initial investment of arc-based AM. Nevertheless, realization of sudden overhanging features through arc-based weld-deposition techniques is still a challenging task because of the necessity of support structures. This paper aims to describe a novel methodology for producing complex metallic objects with sudden overhangs without using supports.


The realization of complex metallic objects with sudden overhangs (without using supports) is possible by reorienting the workpiece and/or deposition head at every instance using higher order kinematics (5-axis setup) to make sure the overhanging feature is in line to the deposition direction.


In the absence of universally applicable support mechanism, deposition of overhanging features remains one of the main challenges in AM. A separate support structure is often necessary for depositing the overhanging features. Small overhang features are usually possible by a little overextension from the previous layer. Nevertheless, deposition of large gradually varying overhangs and sudden overhangs with complex features without support structures is a challenging task in any AM process. This demands higher order kinematics which calls for inclined and/or orthogonal slicing and area filling.


The unique aspect of this paper is the identification of sudden overhang feature from a tessellated computer-aided design (.stl) file and generates an orthogonal tool path for deposition for sudden overhangs. An in-house MATLAB routine has been developed and presented for performing the same. This methodology helps in realization of sudden overhangs without use of supports. To validate proposed technique, various illustrative case studies have been taken up for deposition.



A preprint version of this paper appeared as “A novel methodology to manufacture complex metallic sudden overhangs in weld-deposition based additive manufacturing” and has been posted on Research Square repository.

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research.

Conflicts of interest/Competing interests: Suryakumar Simhambhatla declares that he has no conflict of interest. Jayaprakash Sharma Panchagnula (corresponding author) received scholarship from Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, during his tenure at Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad for his PhD.

Availability of data and material: The reported data and the material in the submitted article are original and the same are not submitted anywhere.

Code availability: An in-house MATLAB routine has been developed by the authors using licensed MATLAB software.

Ethics approval: Not applicable.

Consent to participate: Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Consent for publication: Patients signed informed consent regarding publishing their data and photographs.

Authors' contributions: Both the authors equally conceived all the activities related to the presented research and are equally responsible for idea planning, carrying out the experiments, MATLAB code generation and manuscript preparation.


Panchagnula, J.S. and Simhambhatla, S. (2023), "A novel methodology to manufacture complex metallic sudden overhangs in weld-deposition based additive manufacturing", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 312-323.



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