The purpose of this paper is to study the implementation of a commercial piezoelectric printhead in the fabrication of high-resolution metal parts selective inhibition sintering (SIS-metal). SIS is a disruptive platform additive manufacturing (AM) process capable of printing parts from polymer, metal and ceramic base materials.
The developed system in this paper replaces the single-nozzle solenoid valve previously used in the SIS-metal process and allows for the fabrication of high-resolution parts. A design of experiments approach is utilized to study the effects of important factors in inhibitor deposition. These factors include: composition of the inhibitor, quality of the print and the amount of fluid deposited for each layer. Based on the results of these experiments, parameters have been identified for the creation of 3D parts.
The results of this study were based on the fine tuning of parameters in the updated SIS-metal machine which culminated in the fabrication of complex metallic parts. This study serves as an entry point to important areas of research in need of careful future consideration. These areas include but are not limited to machine robustness, mechanical properties, shrinkage and surface quality.
SIS-metal is a novel AM process developed by the CRAFT Laboratories team at the University of Southern California with potential to compete existing metal AM processes in terms of quality, price, materials and speed. The machine developed in this study signifies an order of magnitude improvement in the resolution and quality of SIS-metal parts which are comparable to those fabricated by other AM processes.
SIS-metal research was originally funded under National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant #1131271. The current research for enhancing the resolution of the SIS process for the fabrication of metallic parts was funded under NSF Grant IIP-1343480. All research was conducted in the CRAFT Laboratories at the University of Southern California (www.craft.usc.edu).
Torabi, P., Petros, M. and Khoshnevis, B. (2015), "Enhancing the resolution of selective inhibition sintering (sis) for metallic part fabrication", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 186-192. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-12-2014-0181
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited