Magforming 3D Printed Metal Structures

Magforming 3D Printed Metal Structures

Docket: UAH-P-15007


Metal structures are being made through additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, in an attempt to proceed from the rapid prototyping scale of making things to the commercial production of final products. In most printing methods, metal fabrication is achieved by partially melting powders laid up in layers as the structure takes form. Electron or laser beam heating is employed to sinter the loose powder layer to the previously sintered solid layers beneath.

Due to the rapid heating and cooling, this process results in incomplete bonding. Fully-dense solids are not formed, with voids being frozen into the structure. A proven method for removing the defects in 3D printed metal objects is Hot Isostatic Pressing, or HIP. However, it is a slow and expensive technology that is limited to very simple shapes.

Researchers at UAH have developed a magnetic forming, or Magforming, process to correct deformities in 3D printed metal objects. This process utilizes thermal and compressive operations to correct the pores and structural flaws in the object. Magforming provides structural corrections in a fraction of the time over HIP.


  • printed metal objects


  • Fast correction of structural deformities in printed metal objects
  • Mechanical contact with work piece not required
  • Suppressed wrinkling
  • Lubricants not needed


  • State of Development: Proof of concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Proprietary