The development of additive manufacturing technologies brings an increased freedom in complex product design and an increased efficiency in supply chain. However, towards commercialization of additive manufacturing, key challenges of high costs as well as limited materials performance and reproducibility (or reliability) need to be addressed. The high costs mostly arise from the expensive additive manufacturing operation and the raw feedstock materials fabrication. The limited materials performance and reproducibility have been primarily attributed to the limited availability of material candidates and the difficulty in materials’ microstructural control during additive manufacturing. In this talk, I will present several design perspectives that enable additive manufacturing of materials with reduced costs yet enhanced performance and reproducibility. Specifically, I will firstly introduce an alloy design strategy to develop a low-cost amorphous metal that exhibits benchmark mechanical performance such as high strength and toughness. Using a direct ink writing technique combined with thermoplastic forming, I will then demonstrate an additive manufacturing approach that can readily allow shaping of this high strength metal like plastics into scalable and complex parts, in which precisely controlled microstructures and hence high materials reproducibility can be achieved. Such direct ink writing technique can also be extended for additive manufacturing of other materials such as crystalline metals, ceramics, and polymers. Finally, I will present some ongoing activities and an outlook of future research on extending the additive manufacturing framework to new materials and manufacturing design opportunities, such as materials genome development, heterogeneous materials synthesis, and manufacturing system optimization, for targeted applications including mechanical, biomedical, and energy.
Dr. Wen Chen is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Staff Member in Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He completed his Ph.D degree in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science under Prof. Jan Schroers at Yale University. His Ph.D thesis focused on understanding microstructure-property-processing relationships in metallic glasses by artificial microstructures approach. Prior to joining Yale, he earned his B.S degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China and M.Phil degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dr. Chen's research interests lie in materials design and advanced manufacturing. He is the recipient of many academic awards including Yale Pierre W. Hoge Fellowship Award, Acta Student Award, and Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Oversea Graduate Students. He serves as a peer reviewer for many journals including Acta Materialia, Scripta Materialia, Applied Physics Letters, Scientific Reports, APL Materials, Journal of Applied Physics, Composites Science and Technology, etc. He was awarded "Outstanding Reviewer" by Materials Science and Engineering: A and Materials Science and Engineering: B, in recognition of the contribution to the quality of the journals.