Manufacturing – An Integration Platform

Online since 02 April 2021



Manufacturing translates ideas, innovation and raw materials into products used by societies as a driving force for raising their living standards. To enhance the versatility of manufacturing processes and to fully integrate design and manufacturing for system optimization, research efforts at Cao’s group are rooted in advancing new flexible manufacturing processes, and in enhancing system optimization using the combination of the ICME (integrated computational materials engineering) and data-driven approaches. This talk will provide a quick overview of these activities and then focus on selected processes, i.e., rapid dieless forming for producing three-dimensional sheet parts without geometry-specific tooling, and metal-based powder-blown additive manufacturing. The integration of the fundamental process mechanics, techniques including machine learning to achieve effective and efficient predictions of material behavior compared to conventional methods, and process control paves the foundation for translating expertise and skills from the hands of a few to hands of many.


1. Webster, S., Lin, H., Carter, F., Ehmann, K. and Cao, J. (2021) “Physical Mechanisms in Hybrid Additive Manufacturing: A Process Design Framework”, J. Materials Processing Technology, Vol. 291, 117048.

2. Cao, J. and Banu, M. (2020) “Opportunities and Challenges in Metal Forming for Lightweighting: Review and Future Work”, ASME J. Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Vol. 142, 110813,

3. Mozaffar, M., Bostanabad, R., Chen, W., Ehmann, K., Cao, J., and Bessa, M.A. (2019) “Deep learning predicts path-dependent plasticity”, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), December 16, 2019,

4. Ren, H., Xie, J., Liao, S., Leem, D., Ehmann, K. and Cao, J. (2019) “In-situ springback compensation in incremental sheet forming”, CIRP Annals, Vol. 68(1), pp. 317-320,

5. Wolff, S.J., Gan, Z., Lin, S., Bennett, J.L., Yan, W., Hyatt, G., Ehmann, K.F., Wagner, G.J., Liu, W.K., Cao, J., (2019) “Experimentally validated predictions of thermal history and microhardness in laser-deposited Inconel 718 on carbon steel,” Additive Manufacturing, Vol. 27, p.540-551,


Electronic reference

Jian Cao, « Manufacturing – An Integration Platform », ESAFORM 2021 [Online], Online since 02 April 2021, connection on 22 April 2024. URL :


Jian Cao

Cardiss Collins Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Director, Northwestern Initiative on Manufacturing Science and Innovation, Northwestern University


Manufacturing – An Integration Platform
Author, co-author
Jian Cao,
Publication date
02 April 2021
Journal title
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Cao, J. (2021). Manufacturing – An Integration Platform. Paper presented at ESAFORM 2021. 24th International Conference on Material Forming, Liège, Belgique.