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A survey of sensing and control systems for machine and process monitoring of directed-energy, metal-based additive manufacturing

Edward W Reutzel (Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States.)
Abdalla R Nassar (Applied Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States.)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to surveys classic and recently developed strategies for quality monitoring and real-time control of laser-based, directed-energy deposition.Additive manufacturing of metal parts is a complex undertaking. During deposition, many of the process variables that contribute to overall build quality – such as travel speed, feedstock flow pattern, energy distribution, gas pressure, etc. – are subject to perturbations from systematic fluctuations and random external disturbances.

Design/methodology/approach

Sensing and control of laser-based, directed-energy metal deposition is presented as an evolution of methods developed for welding and cladding processes. Methods are categorized as sensing and control of machine variables and sensing and control of build attributes. Within both categories, classic methods are presented and followed by a survey of novel developments.

Findings

Additive manufacturing would not be possible without highly automated, computer-based controllers for processing and motion. Its widespread adoption for metal components in critical applications will not occur without additional developments and integration of machine- and process-based sensing systems to enable documentation, and control of build characteristics and quality. Ongoing work in sensing and control brings us closer to this goal.

Originality/value

This work serves to introduce researchers new to the field of additive manufacturing to common sources of process defects during metal powder-based, directed-energy deposition processing, and surveys sensing and control methods being investigated to improve the process. The work also serves to highlight, and stress the significance of novel developments in the field.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions by Mr Corey Dickman from the Applied Research Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University. This work was supported in part by the Office of Naval Research, under Contract No. N00014-11-1-0668. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research. This work was supported in part by the Air Force Research Laboratory through America Makes under agreement number FA8650-12-2-7230. The US Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of Air Force Research Laboratory or the US Government.

Citation

Reutzel, E.W. and Nassar, A.R. (2015), "A survey of sensing and control systems for machine and process monitoring of directed-energy, metal-based additive manufacturing", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 159-167. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-12-2014-0177

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited