Additive manufacturing [AM] is booming as part of the 4th industrial revolution. As the next generation of manufacturing process, quality control processes are especially challenging. Because of its novelty in production, both the industrial users and standardization committees are working on establishing best practices and standards specifically for AM. Special interests were caught on all aspects of the input material – powders. The life of powders begins at the metallurgical plant where raw material is supplied to manufacturers to produce a wide range of powder sizes. A fraction of the powder production would be qualified according to industrial regulations and would reach 3D printing service providers where parts are printed for industrial end users. At each step, questions are raised:
· How to control/maintain the quality of powder? (through the value chain)
· What are the characteristics of powder to be examined? (standard committees)
· Apart from the tradition powder parameters which have been adopted in powder metallurgy, should we examine other characteristics more relevant for AM? (analytical instrument providers, and analytical labs)
· What is the best powder size mix for powder bed AM?
· How to use, handle and store powders to prolong their life and the subsequent performance of consolidated parts?
· What should we do with the waste/unsuitable powders?
Open discussions and presentations on the following topics:
· Safety regulations and guidelines on powder quality, handling and storage
· Powder production/consolidation
· Best lab and manufacturing practices
· Case studies from industry and research practices
· Novel powder analytical instruments available on the market
The theme of this short course is highly relevant to two symposia: “Advances in Materials Manufacturing” and “Advances in Additive Manufacturing of Light Metals”.