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PSU MNE 1: Design and Development of a Closed Loop

Metal AM System
A. Vivar, P. Burke, D. Pfeiffer-Kelly, J. Gritt, K. Vashishth
Sponsored by Dr. Guha Manogharan,
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
Instructor: Dr. Asok Ray


To design and fabricate a low-cost Research/practice TIG Procure welding

closed loop metal additive welding operation and equipment and
equipment consumable (Praxair) 5 2 3
manufacturing (AM) system using
tungsten inert gas (TIG)welding. The
printer will be fabricated to produce 3D Install equipment and Install motion stage
design + fabricate a software and generate 6
printed components made of titanium. mounting bracket (TIG STL slicing software
torch to motion stage) g-code

Test all components
Additive manufacturing is a growing and test functionality
field with the potential to generate
significant cost savings in the
Figure 1. Design process for the fabrication of Figure 6. Full assembly of metal AM system
production of specialty metals like including wire feeder and motion stage
a 3D printer using TIG welding
titanium. However, current metal 3D
1) Welder 4) Motion Stage
printers cost between $350,000 -
2) Wire Feeder 5) Safety Curtains
$1M (not including operation costs)
3) Mounting 6) Printing Table
There is an important need for low- Bracket and Bed
cost metal 3D printers that most
Small and Medium Enterprises
(SMEs) can readily access for
research and technology
development via metal AM

Figure 7. Image of machine torch and wire
Design and Fabricate a low cost metal feeder
3D printer capable of printing thin wall
Figure 2. CAD Model Design of Motion Stage and FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
titanium parts TIG Torch Assembly
Integration modules for the use of
Using CAD files and slicing software, G- In-Process Monitoring and Control:
thermocouples and infrared sensors for Wire pulsing and current control
Code required to fabricate metal AM parts
process monitoring help realize the (using digital potentiometer) should
can be uploaded to the motion stage
goal of a metal 3D printer under $15k be fully automated
Include a closed-loop process
MATERIALS monitoring and control system
including infrared sensors and
For the fabrication of this system, the thermocouples
team sourced and/or manufactured: Analysis of resulting microstructure,
CK Worldwide WF 5 Wire Feeder mechanical properties and part
Miller Dynasty 210 DX TIG Welder & Figure 3. CAD Model of Figure 4. STL files of CAD quality
Coolmate 1.3 L shaped object model in Slic3r to G-Code
CK Worldwide Cold Wire Machine Torch ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Aerotech 500 Linear NC Motion Stage
Titanium Wire 0.023-0.045 Penn State Applied Research
Mounting Bracket for Torch to Motion Laboratory
Stage Penn State Learning Factory
Digital Potentiometer
Figure 5. TIG welding