Researchers in the AM3 lab, at the university of Arkansas, have demonstrated the potential for a new low-costs powder bed AM technique for the manufacturing of micro-components made of low-melting temperature (~600C) powders . Unlike Selective Laser Sintering and Selective Laser Melting that employ a laser beam scanned across the powder bed, the new concept, referred to as MAPS for Micro-Array Powder Sintering, employs arrays of micro-heaters as energy sources. This proof-of-concept could increase build speeds and reduce powder waste and running costs.
Flexible electronics printing
The current technology requires inkjet or screen printing (non-digital method) to print a circuit which then needs to be sintered at high temperature to achieve high electrical conductivity without damaging the plastic substrate .
The MAPS technology can provide a digital version of screen printing and removes the need for post processing. The very short heating cycle keeps temperature of the flexible substrates to a minimum and prevents damages to the plastic films.
3D printing of low melting metals (and plastics)
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 R. Patwa, H. Herfurth, J. Chae, J. Mazumder, Multi-beam laser additive manufacturing, 32nd International congress on applications of lasers and electro-optics 2013
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