Accession Number:



An Introduction to Ordered Powder Lithography: Process Description, Capabilities, and Initial Case Studies

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,01 Jan 2019,31 Mar 2020

Corporate Author:

CCDC Army Research Laboratory Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

Report Date:


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Ordered Powder Lithography OPL is a nonlaser-based additive manufacturing AM technique recently installed at the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory. In this process, a multiple powder-feeder printhead is used to build up a part through an iterative layer deposition approach. Unlike other powder-bed methods in which only a single powder is typically used, in the OPL process each layer is composed of at least two powders a nonreactive zircon casting sand, which acts as the mold in which the part is formed by the deposition of the chosen metal or ceramic powder. Upon completion, the entire build assembly is placed inside a sintering oven and the part is densified using the desired pressureless sintering operation. After cooling, the part is easily removed from the surrounding sand mold. From this brief description, it is clear that there are significant differences between OPL and existing AM methods such as binder-jet printing or laser powder-bed fusion. Thus, this report is intended to provide an overview of the OPL method and highlight some of its capabilities using a series of initial case studies on selected metal powders.

Subject Categories:

  • Printing and Graphic Arts
  • Fabrication Metallurgy

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