Weld deposition-based rapid prototyping: A preliminary study

Yu Ming Zhang, Yiwei Chen, Pengjiu Li, Alan T. Male

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

311 Scopus citations


At the present time, the most widely used commercial rapid prototyping (RP) processes are based on polymeric materials, such as plastics or photocurable resins. While these prototype products adequately meet the requirements for "form" and "fit", they are only very infrequently able to provide any "function" capability. This is especially true when considering metallic products. Laser sintering of metal powers has been studied and is currently being developed into a viable process. However, laser sintering requires expensive equipment and a high price form of starting material. A possibly more economical alternative is offered by the use of weld deposition processing. Research at the University of Kentucky has allowed the development of a dedicated control technology, including slicing/planning, system implementation and post-processing for RP using gas metal arc welding as the deposition process. The metal transfer control system is used to control the size and frequency of the droplets in order to improve the deposition accuracy. The component to be prototyped is specified by CAD surfaces or a solid model in standard IGES format. An integrated and user-friendly environment has been developed to slice the part, plan the deposition parameters, and control the deposition process. In this system, the deposition parameters, and control the deposition process. In this system, the deposition parameters, including the travel speed, touch angle, welding current, and arc voltage, are variably controlled to achieve the required density and three-dimensional geometry. This system, together with its operation, is destroyed and examples of several complex-shaped components produced are illustrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Processing Technology
Issue number2-3 SPEC.
StatePublished - Apr 20 2003


  • Photocurable resins
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Weld deposition processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Weld deposition-based rapid prototyping: A preliminary study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this