Chinese researchers are expanding on new materials and technology for improving surface quality in metal 3D printing, outlining their findings in ‘Laser Polishing of Ti6Al4V Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting.’ SLM technology allows for fabrication of complex parts and is becoming increasingly more popular due to the latitude allowed for designers and researchers, as well as greater efficiency in production.
In this study, the researchers focus on the positive benefits for bioprinting, and the versatility offered for fabrication of implants related to bone fusion. Inferior surface finish is one of the greatest challenges, however, resulting in the following issues:
- Stair-step effect
- Low-dimensional precision
- Increased friction
- Low therapeutic effect
“Various conventional post-processing treatments, such as sandblasting, chemical polishing, electrolytic polishing, machining, ultrasonic polishing, and oxidation have been used on metallic AM (Additive Manufacturing) components to reduce their surface roughness. However, several drawbacks, such as being time-consuming, it is difficult to obtain machine precision components, chemical risks, and low efficiency, limit the clinical application and development of these treatments,” explain the authors.
Laser polishing can solve some of these problems, working with smaller, complex parts that require accuracy, and offers the capability of high-speed polishing at lower cost. Laser polishing also refines mechanical properties, offering improvement which is of ongoing interest to users around the world whether in experimenting with composites, color, 4D materials, or more.
“A comprehensive analysis of the roughness, porosity, fatigue behavior, and biocompatibility, along with the relationships between them, of components after LP should be conducted prior to applying LP technology to implantable medical devices,” explained the researchers regarding the motivation for their study, as they worked to improve on surface roughness and resulting finish.
“The findings of this study can play a guiding role in other processes that involve biomedical materials,” said the researchers.
All samples, created with Ti6Al4V alloy, were polished in a rectangular cavity with argon, used to decrease the possibility of oxidation on parts.
During analysis, samples displayed metallic ‘globules,’ which the researchers noted were ‘only loosely bonded during additive manufacturing processes. Small particles and microcracks persisted, however, displayed on the LP-1 sample, while the LP-2 sample was polished with no defects. For sample LP-3 there was concern over reconstructed islands and cracks.
While laser treatments caused changes that affected wettability, the authors note that some previous research has shown a positive connection related to surface topography. In evaluating pore distribution, samples were analyzed as the researchers sliced then from a variety of lengths from the surface. All samples displayed mechanical properties that were similar, in terms of tensile and yield strength and elongation. With the exception of the high-cycle fatigue test, fatigue behavior was almost the same in all samples.
“The cell experiment showed that the LP-2 parameters improved cell adhesion and exhibited cell proliferation. The results indicate that LP improved the cell biocompatibility, while hydrophilicity positively affected early cell adhesion,” concluded the researchers.
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: ‘Laser Polishing of Ti6Al4V Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting’]
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
3DPOD Episode 176: 3D Printing in Singapore with Chaw Sing Ho, CEO of NAMIC
As CEO, Chaw Sing Ho spearheads National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), Singapore’s national initiative for 3D printing. In our in-depth conversation with him on the 3DPOD, we explore the...
Xometry Taps Google Cloud for AI Boost and Sees Q3 Growth
Xometry‘s (Nasdaq: XMTR) announcement of its strategic partnership with Google Cloud, a key division of Alphabet, aims to accelerate the digitization of manufacturing globally, marking an essential step in the...
Nikon Backs Ai Build’s Smart 3D Printing Software in $8.5 Million Series A
When there’s a gold rush, the best bet is to invest in picks and shovels. When it comes to the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, that means backing the software that’s...
Amplifying Additive Manufacturing with Artificial Intelligence
Additive manufacturing (AM) continues to evolve in the dynamic manufacturing landscape, and integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) has proven to be transformative. Both have independently made waves, redefining what’s possible in...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.