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A review on quality control in additive manufacturing

Hoejin Kim (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA)
Yirong Lin (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA)
Tzu-Liang Bill Tseng (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 9 April 2018




The usage of additive manufacturing (AM) technology in industries has reached up to 50 per cent as prototype or end-product. However, for AM products to be directly used as final products, AM product should be produced through advanced quality control process, which has a capability to be able to prove and reach their desire repeatability, reproducibility, reliability and preciseness. Therefore, there is a need to review quality-related research in terms of AM technology and guide AM industry in the future direction of AM development.


This paper overviews research progress regarding the QC in AM technology. The focus of the study is on manufacturing quality issues and needs that are to be developed and optimized, and further suggests ideas and directions toward the quality improvement for future AM technology. This paper is organized as follows. Section 2 starts by conducting a comprehensive review of the literature studies on progress of quality control, issues and challenges regarding quality improvement in seven different AM techniques. Next, Section 3 provides classification of the research findings, and lastly, Section 4 discusses the challenges and future trends.


This paper presents a review on quality control in seven different techniques in AM technology and provides detailed discussions in each quality process stage. Most of the AM techniques have a trend using in-situ sensors and cameras to acquire process data for real-time monitoring and quality analysis. Procedures such as extrusion-based processes (EBP) have further advanced in data analytics and predictive algorithms-based research regarding mechanical properties and optimal printing parameters. Moreover, compared to others, the material jetting progresses technique has advanced in a system integrated with closed-feedback loop, machine vision and image processing to minimize quality issues during printing process.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited to reviewing of only seven techniques of AM technology, which includes photopolymer vat processes, material jetting processes, binder jetting processes, extrusion-based processes, powder bed fusion processes, directed energy deposition processes and sheet lamination processes. This paper would impact on the improvement of quality control in AM industries such as industrial, automotive, medical, aerospace and military production.


Additive manufacturing technology, in terms of quality control has yet to be reviewed.



Kim, H., Lin, Y. and Tseng, T.-L.B. (2018), "A review on quality control in additive manufacturing", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 645-669.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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