Engineers at UW-Madison have created a new method for improving the quality of 3D-printed metal products.

Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, can create complex metal structures with greater ease than traditional manufacturing processes, a release from the university shows. But the process often introduces defects such as tiny cracks and pits in the material.

Lianyi Chen, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the university, says metal 3D printing has thus far been unable to “consistently produce parts with the same high quality and reliability” as conventional manufacturing processes. That can pose a problem for using these parts in “critical or load-bearing applications where failure isn’t an option,” he said in the release.

Click here to read the full article.