Quality monitoring for laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF), particularly in-process and real-time monitoring, is of importance for part quality assurance and manufacturing cost reduction. Measurement of layer surface topography is critical for quality monitoring, as any anomaly on layer surfaces can result in defects in the final part. In this paper, we propose a surface measurement method, based on the use of scattered light patterns and a convolutional autoencoder-based unsupervised machine learning method, designed and trained using a large set of scattering patterns simulated from reference surfaces using a scattering model. The advantage of using an autoencoder is that the monitoring model can be trained using solely data from acceptable surfaces, without the need to ensure the presence of representative observations for all the types of possible surface defects. The advantage of using simulated data for training is that we can obtain an effective monitoring solution without the need for a large collection of experimental observations. Here we report the results of a preliminary investigation on the performance of the proposed solution, where the trained autoencoder is tested on experimental data obtained off-process, using a dedicated experimental apparatus for generating and collecting light scattering patterns from manufactured L-PBF surfaces. Our results indicate that the proposed monitoring solution is capable of detecting both acceptable and anomalous surfaces. Although further validation is required to fully assess performance within an on-machine and in-process setup, our preliminary results are encouraging and provide a glimpse of the potential benefits of using our surface measurement solution for L-PBF in-process monitoring.

Measurement of laser powder bed fusion surfaces with light scattering and unsupervised machine learning

Nicola Senin;
2022

Abstract

Quality monitoring for laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF), particularly in-process and real-time monitoring, is of importance for part quality assurance and manufacturing cost reduction. Measurement of layer surface topography is critical for quality monitoring, as any anomaly on layer surfaces can result in defects in the final part. In this paper, we propose a surface measurement method, based on the use of scattered light patterns and a convolutional autoencoder-based unsupervised machine learning method, designed and trained using a large set of scattering patterns simulated from reference surfaces using a scattering model. The advantage of using an autoencoder is that the monitoring model can be trained using solely data from acceptable surfaces, without the need to ensure the presence of representative observations for all the types of possible surface defects. The advantage of using simulated data for training is that we can obtain an effective monitoring solution without the need for a large collection of experimental observations. Here we report the results of a preliminary investigation on the performance of the proposed solution, where the trained autoencoder is tested on experimental data obtained off-process, using a dedicated experimental apparatus for generating and collecting light scattering patterns from manufactured L-PBF surfaces. Our results indicate that the proposed monitoring solution is capable of detecting both acceptable and anomalous surfaces. Although further validation is required to fully assess performance within an on-machine and in-process setup, our preliminary results are encouraging and provide a glimpse of the potential benefits of using our surface measurement solution for L-PBF in-process monitoring.
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1549121
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