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Low-Cost Feedstock for Large-Scale Metal Additive Manufacturing

Invention Reference Number

Steel structure

This technology enables economically viable and sustainable fabrication of near net shape large steel components using additive manufacturing. Currently, additive manufacturing is not economically viable for the production of many infrastructure-scale steel parts, such as hydropower turbines, due to the high cost of the feedstocks. This process uses low-cost, minimally-processed ferrous feedstocks to produce near net shape steel components with reduced embodied carbon and energy. 


Large-format metal additive manufacturing (AM) systems currently use expensive and energy-intensive pre-manufactured feedstocks (powder, wire, etc.). A process compatible with low-cost feedstock is needed to increase the economically feasible range of metal AM applications. This technology is such a process and solves the problem of domestic AM production of large (1+ ton) ferrous castings. The technology addresses the acute supply chain shortages of components relevant to renewable wind and water energy applications in the short term and reduces embodied cost, carbon emissions, and trans-ocean shipping pollutants in the long term while maintaining cost parity with the current supply chain. This process can additively manufacture select ferrous alloys (cast irons, mild steels, stainless steels) at scale and at much lower cost, embodied carbon, and embodied energy. 

Applications and Industries

  • Steel foundries 
  • Utilities 
  • Renewable energy companies, hydro and wind 
  • Original equipment manufacturers 


  • Enables infrastructure-scale metal additive manufacturing of components  
  • Reduces cost 
  • Reduces carbon emissions/enables cleaner production 
  • Sustainable additive manufacturing, compatible with Circular Economy initiatives 
  • Reshoring production of large castings, eliminates transoceanic shipping 


To learn more about this technology, email or call 865-574-1051.