Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Nathan B. Crane, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Murphy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tansel Yucelen, Ph.D.


Additive Manufacturing, Powder Bed Sintering, Controls, Nylon 12, Heat Transfer


Additive manufacturing involves the layer-wise patterned addition of material to create 3D parts, allowing for parts with complex geometries that traditional subtractive manufacturing processes cannot create, while offering good value for low run production parts by eliminating the cost of tooling. Large Area Sintering is a form of powder based additive manufacturing where entire layer cross sections are heated and fused in a single continuous exposure process. This layer by layer powder sintering process is similar to selective laser sintering, but by heating the cross section at a slower and controllable rate there is an opportunity to achieve tighter control over thermal history. This thesis discusses the design, construction, and validation of a large area sintering test platform, as well as a preliminary study on feature resolution. A key component of this system was the integration of an infrared camera, allowing point-wise temperature control of the sintering cross section. There is a hypothesis that longer and controlled heating rates in Large Area Sintering (in comparison to Selective Laser Sintering) would allow the capability to process a wider range of materials, and give more control over the resulting final part properties. The test platform created a repeatable test environment, and successfully demonstrated the capability for point wise temperature control of the sintering cross section, enabling the ability to examine the effects of slower controlled heating rates. Available power on the system was 2.22 W/cm2 for heating, with a temperature control loop time of 160 – 180 ms. The results of the preliminary study on feature resolution also suggested a positive correlation between point wise closed loop temperature control and improved feature resolution, giving motivation for further study.