During the AM printing phase, the heating and cooling of the metal as the part is built layer-by-layer can accumulate internal stresses and tensions, which compromise the part’s mechanical properties. Heat treatment improves the microstructure and mechanical properties of the parts and is successfully being used by many aerospace companies. Often a definite part-specification requirement that is absolutely necessary for nearly all AM parts, heat treatment can add extra features to optimize the properties of printed products.
“Additive Manufacturing means any technology capable of obtaining a final component starting from a 3D CAD file and adding material layer by layer. At a theoretical level, Additive Manufacturing only coincides with the 3D part construction phase. In reality, in order to fully understand this technology, a series of other preprinting and post-printing activities must be considered, which constitute the entire supply chain of Additive Manufacturing. In this article we will analyze the activities that precede and follow 3D printing, paying particular attention to the requirements of the materials and the processes necessary to obtain a high-quality production.”
Additional Reading: Metal additive manufacturing and vacuum heat treatments
Source: TAV Vacuum Furnaces