18 March 2016 Observation of melting conditions in selective laser melting of metals (SLM)
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Abstract
Process observation in 3D printing of metals currently is one of the central challenges. Many companies strive to employ this additive manufacturing process in their production chains in order to gain competitive advantages through added flexibility in product design and embedded features. The new degrees of freedom are accompanied with the challenge to manufacture every detail of the product to the predefined specifications. Products with filigree internal structures for example require a perfect build to deliver the performance that was designed into these structures.

Melting conditions determine properties such as grain structure and density of the finished part before it is sent to post processing steps. Monitoring of such melting conditions is still a challenge where the use of photodiodes, pyrometry and camera systems contribute to an overall picture that might identify errors or deviations during the build process. Additional considerations must be made to decide if these sensors are applied coaxially or from a lateral perspective. Furthermore, setting parameters of focal plane array (FPA) sensors are discussed and events that are seen in the machine vision image are compared against the pyrometry data.

The resume of the experiments suggests the application of multiple sensors to the selective laser melting process (SLM) as they jointly contribute to an identification of events. These events need to be understood in order to establish cause effect relationships in the future.
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U. Thombansen, Peter Abels, "Observation of melting conditions in selective laser melting of metals (SLM)", Proc. SPIE 9741, High-Power Laser Materials Processing: Lasers, Beam Delivery, Diagnostics, and Applications V, 97410S (18 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2213952; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213952
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