Experiment 7: Data-Driven Modeling of Powder Bed Fusion Technology to Improve Product Quality

MOTIVATION

Up until now, Additive Manufacturing technologies and, especially, the Powder Fusion Technology present at Croom Precision Medical are used for dealing with levels of complexity hardly achievable by conventional manufacturing technologies. However, the design freedom of additive manufacturing is offset by the complexity involved in choosing the optimal manufacturing process parameters and conditions for material processing. Thus, a critical element for the industrial use of these systems is the monitoring of the system and processing conditions to ensure quality within a complex process. The motivation of this project is to create a digital twin of the process informed by real time data and models generated during the experiment to allow for increased process efficiency and product quality, and consequently reduce production costs.

PURPOSE OF THE EXPERIMENT

The experiment aims to develop a cloud-based process model of the powder bed fusion technology to monitor the process layer-by-layer and ensure reliable production. The developed model utilizes a plethora of machine learning algorithms to predict important outputs of the modelled process using real time data. The computation of such highly complex models requires expensive hardware investment to efficiently run offline. The use of a cloud platform can negate the costly investment required and enable faster computation of model outputs.

TECHNICAL IMPACT

Croom Precision Medical (CPM) will benefit from a digital twin for Additive Manufacturing that can be used for automated real time monitoring of and prediction of component quality to optimize production efficency, component quality and reduce costs. This will be fundementally underpinned by the advanced meltpool monitoring on board CPM’s Additive Manufacturing system giving them a unqiue selling point for attraction new customers and increasing their current offering. The technical impact of this is potentially very high, allowing for the use of meltpool monitoring technologies to be used, not only to inspect the quality of a build manually, but to automate this stage for cost reductions.

Spectral photo.

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