Laser Fusion of Powder and Foil - a Multi Material Approach to Additive Manufacturing
Multi material additive manufacturing (MM-AM) is an attractive approach to combine the geometric flexibility in particular of powder bed based AM processes with functional integration. A major limitation of multi-material laser powder bed fusion (MM-LPBF) approaches is the risk of powder contamination. In the present study, the implementation of a concept for manufacturing of multi material parts is demonstrated. A new type of device is contructed, and the new process is tested fundamentally and gradually by experimental means. Aspects investigated include machine and process feasibility, bonding issues, and dilution. Microstructural analysis reveals the successful build of multimaterial basic geometries out of steel powder (316L stainless steel) and both nickel-based alloy and copper foil. This provides a new process whose further research offers high potential for numerous multi-material applications.