Patent Number: 6,309,711

Title: Method for manufacturing a three-dimensional object

Abstract: Improved assembly and methods for manufacturing a three-dimensional object are described. The assembly includes a crucible for holding molten metal, an orifice disposed in the bottom of the crucible through which a jet of molten metal can flow towards a movable substrate, and a mechanically oscillating member immersed in the molten metal for controlling the flow of molten metal through the orifice and for breaking the flow of molten metal into the sequence of molten metal drops. As the drops land on the movable substrate, a three-dimensional object is built up. Continuously variable diameter or controllable planar jets may be used as the orifices. In forming drops from the output of a planar jet, the jet is first broken up by the oscillating member into horizontal cylindrical ligaments and the ligaments are then broken up into drops by acoustic energy applied by audio loudspeakers adjacent the falling ligaments. The assembly and methods are useful in the fields of rapid prototyping and materials processing.

Inventors: Tseng; Ampere A. (Phoenix, AZ), Lee; Tae-Woo (Phoenix, AZ)

Assignee: Arizona State University

International Classification: B22F 3/115 (20060101); B22F 3/00 (20060101); B22F 9/08 (20060101); B05D 001/04 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018