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Real-time Compensation of Layer Geometry Errors for Additive Manufacturing Processes

Start date: 01/01/2018. End date: 30/09/2022.

Budget: 127.050,00 €.

Funding type: Public.

Funding entity: Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and FEDER.

Reference: DPI2017-83068-P.

Research leader: Jos Carlos Rico Fernndez.

Researchers: Braulio Jose Alvarez Alvarez, David Blanco Fernndez, Fernando Pea Cambn, Gonzalo Valio Riestra, Natalia Beltrn Delgado, Pablo Zapico Garca, Pedro Fernndez lvarez, Sabino Mateos Daz

PEs: ArcelorMittal, El Rodamiento, S.A., Fundacin IDONIAL, PASEK Espaa, PIXEL Sistemas, PMG Asturias, SAMOA Industrial, STR Espaa

Additive manufacturing processes are opening up a world of possibilities towards obtaining parts with complex geometry and adjustable properties. Its impact in sectors such as biomechanics, energy or aerospace is already appreciable, but the forecasts point to a real revolution linked to the development of different technologies of additive manufacturing. However, industrial adoption of these technologies is conditioned by some limitations related to economic, technological and, especially, the quality of manfactured parts. Among the latter, the lack of dimensional and geometrical accuracy of the manufactured parts stands out. In recent years, the amount of research focused on this problem has grown significantly. The solutions provided have evolved from a mere verification of manufacturing errors together with an explanation of their possible causes, to more complex work aimed at minimizing these errors. Whereas some researchers have focused on improving the quality of the part by modifying the process parameters, others have made compensations on the initial geometry or have proceed to correct the geometrical errors of the machine. The difficulties found in these works have given rise to theoretical results, with little possibility of becoming practical solutions at the industrial level.

In this situation, this Project proposes a novel optimization strategy based on the compensation of dimensional and geometrical errors of each layer deposited during the additive manufacturing process, in order to obtain a more precise 3D final geometry. For the correct development of this methodology, they should be addressed:

- Real-time digitizing of the geometry of each deposited layer in order to quantify its deviations with respect to the theoretical shape. This involves developing integrated contour detection techniques that work in the cycle between layer and layer.

- The development of an in-cycle compensation system that, based on the deviations realized for each layer, be capable of improving the geometry of the next layers. The final result will be a 3D part with more precise geometry.

The methodology proposed will be articulated through a single integrated solution that materializes the optimization strategy, incorporating it into the workflow of an additive manufacturing equipment. This methodology, which could be valid for any additive manufacturing process (Fused Filament Fabrication -FFF, micro Laser Sintering -mLS, Stereolithography -SLA, etc.), will be applied in this Project on an FFF system. With this aim, a test bench based on this technology will be developed, which will allow for the incorporation and testing of different digitizing technologies, such as conoscopic holography, laser triangulation or artificial vision.

The impact of the Project results could lead the manufacturers of additive equipment to incorporate sensors in their machines, which would be able to achieve a real-time improvement of the geometric parts quality, and bringing them closer to the industrial standards usual of other traditional technologies. Additionally, it would contribute to the evolution of the current manufacturing paradigm towards the field of Industry 4.0.


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