Feed-Forward Controls for Laser Powder Bed Fusion Based Metal Additive Manufacturing
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-085
Topic Title: Feed-Forward Controls for Laser Powder Bed Fusion Based Metal Additive Manufacturing
Proposal No.: N181-085-1029
SUITE # 650
LONG BEACH, California 90804
Contact: Frank Abdi
Phone: (562) 961-7827
Web Site: http://www.alphastarcorp.com
Abstract: Previously developed hardware/software platform, in-situ sensing technology (thermal and laser line) and multi-scale multi-physics material model, will be integrated and expanded to produce a Feed Forwad Control (FFC) system for AM. The applicability of this framework for improving the quality of the build for qualification and certification process will be shown on simple and complex AM fabricated components. Terrain micro mapping and defect detection will be upgraded for user-friendliness. Customization of software and machine tool interface will expand technology to service multiple platforms. The innovation includes a) Real-Time Monitored Open Source AM System, b) Quality Data Analysis System for Monitoring Printing Defects and Anomalies, and c) Zeroth-Order-Model (ZOM) for Thermal Analysis. The overall objectives of the proposed program are three-fold: a) Enhancement of predictive software to detect lack-of-fusion using fast thermal analysis, b) Big data processing and visualization according to the sensor values to detect defects, abnormal process conditions, and melt pool characterization, and c) Closed-loop feedback control system with real time decision making algorithm.
Benefits: Qualification and certification of AM parts is a critical step forward for wide spread adoption of AM technology. The proposed tool takes advantage of big data processing related to in-situ monitoring (visualization and calculation) and feed forward control to deliver AM part qualification and certification in support of Future Naval Capabilities related to Quality Metal Additive Manufacturing. The technology will enhance opportunities for low cost virtual testing, virtual parametric studies and product customization. It will enable early detection of defects and possible alteration of process parameters to repair the defects and minimize loss of material and time. US Navy and Lockheed Martin will be the first recipients of the toolset. Later, other government agencies and industry partners will be afforded the same opportunity. As information is shared, interest from the Automotive, Marine, Medical Instruments, Energy and Infrastructure sectors will be significant. Identifying and working with key partners will secure success.