Dreaming of Data: Examining Data Augmentation for Machine Learning in Additive Manufacturing

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University of Texas at Austin


The data generated during additive manufacturing (AM) practice can be used to train machine learning (ML) tools to reduce defects, optimize mechanical properties, or increase efficiency. In addition to the size of the repository, emerging research shows that other characteristics of the data also impact suitability of the data for AM-ML application. What should be done in cases for which the data in too small, too homogeneous, or otherwise insufficient? Data augmentation techniques present a solution, offering automated methods for increasing the quality of data. However, many of these techniques were developed for machine vision tasks, and hence their suitability for AM data has not been verified. In this study, several data augmentation techniques are applied to synthetic design repositories to characterize if and to what degree they enhance their performance as ML training sets. We discuss the comparative advantage of these data augmentation techniques across several canonical AM-ML tasks.


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