Table 6.

Characteristics of RP/M.

Technology of manufacturing FGM used Process Advantage1 and disadvantage2
Powder + binder +3-DP Plaster powder + multiple binding fluids Local composition control (LCC) is accompanied by a print head with several jets, each depositing binders and/or slurries of a material. The material composition is on the scale of the binder droplets 100 μm
  1. Flexible in controlling composition and porosity, lower temperature involved, lower cost and faster speed.

  2. Low mechanical strength.

Powder injection + laser melting Stainless steel AISI 316 L + stellite grade 12 Powders are injected on working zone by coaxial nozzles, controlled by CNC table, and then molten by 5 kW Nd: YAG laser or CO2 laser. Layer thickness is 30–50 μm.
  1. Good mechanical strength; easy control of material composition.

  2. High temperature, complex controlling system, and shielding gas involved; materials must be in powder form.

Powder + selective laser sintering Hydroxyapatite and polymer composite Hydroxyapatite and polyethylene are incorporated into an FGM-based matrix for bone implants. The average size of internal pores is 60–68 μm. The laser is a 10-W CO2
  1. Good porosity control, good mechanical strength.

  2. High temperature, complex controlling system, materials must be in powder.

Filament + fused deposition modeling Ceramic + polymer composites Ceramic and polymer materials are fused and deposited. The properties of the composites can be tailored by changing the connectivity of the phases
  1. good control of composition and location of deposition

  2. complex controlling system, lower mechanical strength

Powder + selective laser sintering Poly(vinyl alcohol) PVA + hydroxyapatite PLA and hydroxyapatite are mixed and sintered by SLS RP to fabricate tissue scaffolds. Layer thickness is 50 μm
  1. Good control of composition, good implementation of tissue scaffold.

  2. Expensive equipment, higher temperature, difficult to remove the loose powder within pores

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