Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)
Administrative Home Department
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Metal 3-D printing has been relegated to high-cost proprietary high-resolution systems and low-resolution low-cost metal inert gas (MIG) systems. In order to provide a path to high-resolution, low-cost, metal 3-D printing, this manuscript proposes a new open source metal 3-D printer design based around a low-cost tungsten inert gas (TIG) welder coupled to a commercial open source self replicating rapid prototyper. Optimal printing parameters for the machine are acquired using a novel computational intelligence software. TIG has many advantages over MIG, such as having a low heat input, clean beads, and the potential for both high-resolution prints as well as insitu alloying of complex geometries. The design can be adapted to most RepRap-class systems and has a basic yet powerful free and open source software (FOSS) package for the characterization of the 3-D printer. This system can be used for fabricating custom metal scientific components and tools, near net-shape structural metal component rapid prototyping, adapting and depositing on existing metal structures, and is deployable for in-field prototyping for appropriate technology applications.
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Oberloier, Shane, "Open-Source TIG-Based Metal 3D-Printing", Open Access Dissertation, Michigan Technological University, 2021.