The additive manufacturing technology Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) uses a laser to selectively manufacture complex metal parts layer-by-layer. Compared to conventional manufacturing, it is characterized by higher geometrical freedom, e.g. for the integration of internal cooling channels or the use of lattice structures for weight reduction, with similar mechanical properties. 

The gradual transition of technology from prototype to serial production, necessitates improved process- and quality control. Current approaches store disconnected sets of sensor data in individual silos and fail to leverage modern data processing technologies combined with robust LPBF data generation.  

In the international project DREAM (Data dRiven process control in mEtal Additive Manufacturing) four partners; Fraunhofer ILT and BCT GmbH from Germany, as well as AMEXCI and Interspectral from Sweden have joined forces to overcome this challenge by combining the experiences and strengths of each partner. Together, over the next two years, they will realize the vision of a modular platform for automated defect detection for quality assurance in additive manufacturing. 

Fraunhofer ILT has pioneered the LPBF technology since the 1990s. In DREAM, ILT will develop sophisticated LPBF processing strategies to generate usable sensor data. Sensor systems that are specifically designed for their usage in LPBF increase the resolution of the data and build the foundation for the subsequent analyses.  

BCT GmbH’s team of engineers, computer scientists, and mathematicians is focused on automated process chains for additive and subtractive manufacturing as well as in-process sensor data acquisition. In DREAM, they will develop algorithms to synchronize the data from multiple sensor sources, combine them with information about the manufactured parts, and prepare them for further analysis.

AMEXCI is a leader in additive manufacturing for the Nordic industry with experience in applying artificial intelligence to uncover anomalies in sensor data. In DREAM, they will apply their previously developed annotation- and analysis platform to the preprocessed data to identify potential defects that may occur during the manufacturing process. 

Interspectral a Swedish 3D visualization company that develop AM Explorer a visualization software package that makes it possible to fuse, explore and analyze simulation, monitoring, and post build part analysis data from the metal additive manufacturing process. In DREAM, AM Explorer will be extended to function with more types and higher resolution data to give LPBF-users even deeper insights into their part’s quality. 

For more information, please contact: 
Manja Franke, Head of Innovation