Industry White Paper

Precise Thermal Management for Additive Manufacturing

July 01, 2020 by Laird

Overview
 

Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, is an emerging application that is finding an expanding purpose in the manufacturing process. Once primarily used for quickly making prototype parts, 3D printing is now also used to digitize workflow and manufacture production quality final products. There are many different types of 3D printing methods used to physically create a desired object. In this application note, learn more about powder bed 3D printing, which utilizes heat from a laser-beam, electron-beam, or thermal printhead to melt material together and create a solid object.

To optimize 3D printing performance, the laser- and electron-beam optics must be efficiently cooled. Precise cooling is also needed to help control the viscosity of the liquid powder as it is dispensed onto the thermal printhead's surface. Power sources often need to be cooled as well. Refrigerated chiller systems are the preferred method for cooling the thermally sensitive additive manufacturing system, while thermoelectric coolers can also be used for spot cooling components.

Laird Thermal Systems designs, develops and manufactures thermal management solutions for demanding applications across global medical, industrial, transportation, and telecommunications markets. With expertise in thermal management, Laird engineers use advanced thermal modeling and management techniques to solve complex heat and temperature control problems.

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