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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

New methods of In-Situ Metrology and Process Control for EBF3 Additive Manufacturing

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

New methods of in situ metrology and process control for EBF3 Additive Manufacturing, a feasibility study Project Image
The proposed innovation is a methodology for advanced process control and deposition analysis built around using signals generated by beam-component interactions in the Electron Beam Free Form Fabrication (EBF3) system. These signals have the potential to be used for many forms of both metrology and process control. While many material properties might be studied by using this interaction, our initial focus is an investigation into beam and sensor characteristics for geometric analysis of the deposition. Signals derived from the electron beam-component interaction could offer spatially resolved dimensional information about the deposited material, as it is being deposited. This is important, as the ability to monitor a parameter during deposition creates the possibility of controlling that parameter during the deposition process. As a further refinement, the ability to collect and store a spatially resolved pass-by-pass map of the deposition path geometry may have value in on-the-fly adjustments to subsequent build passes. Such mapping would allow working with the layer-by-layer nature of the deposition process to fine tune the deposition geometry. Such spatially resolved, layer-by-layer deposition mapping could also be stored, giving a three dimensional mapping of the as-built deposition path geometry. This could prove valuable for component quality assurance. More »

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