Online Quality Control of Selective Laser Melting
Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is an Additive Manufacturing technique which allows producing three-dimensional metallic parts from powder material, using a layer-by-layer fashion. Typical applications of this technology are parts with high geometrical complexity or internal features such as biomedical implants or casting molds with conformal cooling channels. In order to break through in industries with very high quality standards (such as aerospace industries), an important issue to be addressed is quality monitoring and control during the actual building process. Online quality control can significantly increase the robustness of the process by enabling to check the quality of the building process in the earliest possible stage, such that eventually corrective actions can be taken during the process. This is in contrast with on-line and a posteriori quality control which does not allow taking corrective measures if the quality of the part does not meet the desired quality standard. The development of a framework for online quality control of Selective Laser Melting is the subject of this paper. The framework consists of two complementary systems: a system for visual inspection of powder deposition and a system for online and real-time monitoring of the melt pool. A combination of these two systems enables to guarantee the quality of SLM parts with high confidence.