Elevated Region Area Measurement for Quantitative Analysis of Laser Beam Melting Process Stability




zur Jacobsmühlen, J.
Kleszczynski, S.
Witt, G.
Merhof, D.

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University of Texas at Austin


Laser beam melting (LBM) processes enable layer-based production of geometrically complex metallic parts with very good mechanical properties for Rapid Manufacturing. Collisions between powder coating mechanism and elevated part regions pose a major risk to process stability, which is crucial for industrial application. Minimizing elevated region area usually involves parameter tuning in a trial-and-error approach, as the process outcome is the only measure of stability. One published approach to quantifying elevated region area utilizes an imaging system, which acquires layer images of the powder bed after powder deposition and detects elevated regions using image analysis. We extend the image-based analysis to each part region, create quantitative visualizations of elevated region area for quick assessment/comparison and compute a figure of merit. In experimental build jobs with overhanging structures and different support junction parameters we gain insight into problematic part regions, which can be used as feedback in job design. The presented method helps to improve LBM process stability, which is strongly linked to process efficiency.


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