Experimental (1 student) and simulation (1 student) of the temperature distribution within a nozzle from a 3D printer

Additive manufacturing (AM) consists of the fabrication of parts layer-by-layer. The most common AM processes to build metallic parts use high energy source such as a laser, an electron beam or a plasma to solidify powder. This allows the manufacturing of complex and bespoke geometries; however, the high-power consumption of these energy sources generates an elevated carbon footprint and results in complex and turbulent melt pool dynamics, which can induce defects such as porosity. A less turbulent and less energy-intensive additive manufacturing technology is currently under development at LMM. Metallic wire is fed through a nozzle and melted in order to produce a small pendant drop which bonds and solidifies onto the previous manufactured layer, as is now practiced with thermoplastic polymers in FDM (Fusion Deposition Modelling). A key element in the process is the nozzle that delivers the molten metal to the built part; this project is centered on engineering and improving the design of that nozzle.

Two students will work together for this semester project. The goal is for the first student to measure experimentally the temperature profile along the AM nozzle as a function of variations in the design and service conditions of heaters, insulation types around the nozzle, heat dissipators or coolers. This will be done by means of thermocouples and thermal camera imagery.

These experimental data will then be given to the second student whose goal will be to simulate the thermal distribution within this nozzle, based on CAD modelling of the nozzle and the use of thermal modelling software such as Abaqus. The model will then be calibrated with the measurements of the first student, and used to improve the design and service parameters of the AM nozzle.

Project supervisors: William Le Bas, Tyler Benkley and Julie Gheysen

Contact: [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]