Electron beam additive manufacturing (EBAM) is a popular additive manufacturing (AM) technique used by many industrial sectors. In EBAM process monitoring, data analysis is focused on information extraction directly from the raw data collected in-process, i.e. thermal/optical/electronic images, and the comparison between the collected data and the computed tomography/microscopy images generated after the EBAM process. This paper aims to postulate that a stack of bitmaps could be generated from the computer-aided design (CAD) at a range of Z heights and user-defined region of interest during file preparation of the EBAM process, and serve as a reference image set.
Comparison between that and the workpiece images collected during the EBAM process could then be used for quality assessment purposes. In spite of the extensive literature on CAD slicing and contour generation for AM process preparation, the method of bitmap generation from the CAD model at different field of views (FOVs) has not been disseminated in detail. This article presents a piece of custom CAD-bitmap generation software and an experiment demonstrating the application of the software alongside an electronic imaging system prototype.
Results show that the software is capable of generating binary bitmaps with user-defined Z heights, image dimensions and image FOVs from the CAD model; and can generate reference bitmaps to work with workpiece electronic images for potential pixel-to-pixel image comparison.
It is envisaged that this CAD-bitmap image generation ability opens up new opportunities in quality assessment for the in-process monitoring of the EBAM process.
The author declares that there is no conflict of interest. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The EBAM machine was purchased, in part from a grant received for the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing, EP/I033335/2.
Wong, H. (2020), "Bitmap generation from computer-aided design for potential layer-quality evaluation in electron beam additive manufacturing", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-05-2019-0146Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited