Advanced science.  Applied technology.


2018 Annual Report

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Southwest Research Institute is developing complex components using state-of-the-art metal additive manufacturing capabilities that create both the material and the component simultaneously. A new selective laser melting machine fuses regions of fine metal powder in a layer-by-layer process to 3D print a metal component. This manufacturing technique greatly expands design options, cost-effectively fabricating complex parts with internal structures or features that are difficult, if not impossible, to produce using conventional forging, casting and machining methods. Engineers can optimize components, as illustrated by this lattice, with internal structures to tailor stiffness, reduce weight or improve thermal management.