Integration of a Thermal Imaging Feedback Control System in Electron Beam Melting

Rodriguez, Emmanuel
Medina, Francisco
Espalin, David
Terrazas, Cesar
Muse, Dan
Henry, Chad
MacDonald, Eric
Wicker, Ryan B.
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University of Texas at Austin

A thermal imaging system using an infrared (IR) camera was incorporated in the fabrication process of an Arcam A2 Electron Beam Melting system to provide layer-by-layer feedback and ensure quality and defect free products. Using the IR camera, build chamber surface temperature profiles were imaged and analyzed, providing information used to modify build settings for the next build layer. Individual part temperatures were also monitored and modified to achieve a more uniform bed temperature. The thermal imaging information can also be used as a quality control tool to detect imperfections during the build. Results from the integration of the camera in the system as well as use of the thermal images in process monitoring and control is described.