Feedforward Control for Polymer Laser Sintering Process Using Part Geometry

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Abdelrarhman, Mostafa
Starr, Thomas L.

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University of Texas at Austin


For the polymer laser sintering process, achieving optimum mechanical properties requires that every volume element of a part experience a temperature history sufficient to reach full density. This history must include a peak temperature high enough to fully melt, but not degrade, the polymer and a cool-down period that ensures elimination of porosity, interlayer bonding and relaxation of stress. Real-time thermal monitoring of the laser sintering process has shown that this temperature history depends on the geometries of both the current and prior layers. In this paper we demonstrate a feed-forward control system that improves uniformity of the temperature history for parts with variable cross-sections. The control algorithm for this system will utilize information from layerwise geometry models for parts in a multi-part build. The cross-sectional area for every layer will be used at run-time for feed forward control the laser scan parameters. The results confirmed maintaining constant peak temperature throughout the part. This control system ensures optimized sintering for parts with complex geometries.


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