Additive manufacturing has advanced to enable the production of complex shaped materials using polymers, metals, ceramics, and composites. Additive manufacturing offers the ability to control the composition and optimize the properties of the built part.
Polymers are commonly used in commercial additive manufacturing processes, while composites are mostly still in the R&D phase. Composites enable the unusual combination of material properties to create high-performance materials. Composites, particularly using nanoparticles, have been of interest for medical use, and to increase mechanical performance though the addition of fibers in polymer matrix materials.
Argonne National Laboratory provides industry the tools and expertise to optimize additive manufacturing materials and processes to fit application needs. Among the world-class R&D tools available are the Center for Nanoscale Materials, high-performance computing, atomic layer deposition, and X-ray imaging and characterization.