In the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) process, 3D components with complex geometries are fabricated in a layer-by-layer fashion by using a controlled laser beam to selectively melt particular regions of the metal powder bed. However, due to the stochastic nature of the L-PBF process, the top surface roughness of each solidified layer tends to be different even when the optimal processing conditions for the different positions on the build plate are employed. As a result, the mechanical properties of the built components frequently vary from one component to the next. Accordingly, this study proposes an Intelligent Additive Manufacturing Architecture (IAMA) for controlling the surface roughness of each build layer through an appropriate adjustment of the laser re-melting parameters. The IAMA architecture comprises five modules, namely In-Situ Metrology (ISM), Ex-Situ Metrology (ESM), Automatic Virtual Metrology (AVM), Additive Manufacturing Simulation (AMS) and Intelligent Compensator (IC). The feasibility of the proposed architecture is demonstrated by comparing the top surface roughness of cubic and mechanical strengths of tensile test samples built using the proposed method with those built using a traditional L-PBF approach without surface roughness control. It is found that the samples fabricated using the IAMA approach have an average top surface roughness of 1.6 <inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\mu$</tex-math> </inline-formula>m and a standard deviation is 0.7 <inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\mu$</tex-math> </inline-formula>m. By contrast, the samples produced using the traditional L-PBF approach have an average surface roughness of 13.45 <inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\mu$</tex-math> </inline-formula>m and a standard deviation of 2.5 <inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$\mu$</tex-math> </inline-formula>m. In addition, the specimens produced with the assistance of IAMA architecture have an average tensile strength of 1013 MPa with a standard deviation of 69.5 MPa, while those printed without surface roughness control have an average tensile strength of 903 MPa with a standard deviation of 101.4 MPa <italic>Note to Practitioners</italic>—As L-PBF produce part in a layer-by-layer manner, therefore, the roughness on the top surface of previous layer have a strong influence on the printing quality of current layer. The variations of surface roughness will lead to the fluctuation of mechanical properties of the fabricated components. Additionally, to the best of author’s knowledge, current commercial L-PBF machines can not actively control the surface roughness of samples during the process. The proposed IAMA in this work can predict and control the roughness on the top surface of each layer during L-PBF process. Therefore, the constructed architecture has strong potential for integrating into the commercial L-PBF machine for controlling the surface roughness on the top of the parts during the manufacturing process. As a result, the quality of the fabricated components is expected to be in consistent. Accordingly, L-PBF machine equipped with IAMA will have a strong potential in applying for mass production of the components in aerospace and automobile industries.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2022|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering