By Prof. Said Ahzi, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar.
3D printing technologies for layered manufacturing are emerging technologies of the industry and have been developed to build three-dimensional components directly from computer-aided design models. The common feature of these technologies is that the structure is made by cumulative deposition of a material (metal, polymer, ceramic,…) without using any tools, which leads to reduced manufacturing time and cost. These technologies have initially started as rapid prototyping processes and have being extended to rapid tooling and to rapid manufacturing. The current interests of the 3D printing technologies include repair and rapid fabrication of parts for biomedical applications (prostheses), machine components, electronic device applications, and fabrication of components/devices for renewable energy applications such as photovoltaic solar cells and batteries for energy storage.
Computational models have also being developed to simulate some of these 3D printing technologies. The aim of this modelling is to use the developed computational tools for optimising the considered 3D printing process in order to control the dimensions of the build parts/devices as well as to control their properties.
In this presentation, we will review the 3D printing technologies with a focus on the ones paving the way towards cleaner energy and dedicated for the fabrication of materials and devices for renewable energy applications. We will also address the optimisation of these processes via the development of theoretical computational models. For this, examples will be selected and modelling details and results will be presented and discussed
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