students carrying container with liquid metal in it.

CEE Lab Feature - 2018

Printing Parts That Don’t Break: From Processing to Performance

Associate Professor Derek Warner’s CEE 6725 class has been busy 3D printing plastic patterns: tensile bars and a real-life airplane component and then building two-part sand molds around them. On Tuesday, April 17, on the SUNY Cortland campus, the class reassembled their molds and filled them with liquid structural grade aluminum alloy. Vaughn Randall, department chair and associate professor of art and art history at SUNY Cortland, facilitated the lab activity.

Students smiling holding metal parts

“Casting day was particularly exiting this year, given the backdrop of large snowflakes,” said Warner. “We will next machine the parts (they need to be removed from the gating system), heat treat them, and mechanically test and load until they break.”

Novel additive manufacturing (AM) techniques are appealing in that they offer improved design flexibility, the capability to produce multi-functional components, and an economical route for low-volume production runs with less material waste. Warner’s course is aimed at giving students a knowledge base to understand the connection between various AM techniques and the mechanical performance of AM metallic components.