Automated layerwise detection of geometrical distortions in laser powder bed fusion

Luca Pagani, Marco Grasso, Paul J. Scott, Bianca M. Colosimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


In-situ layerwise imaging in laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) has been implemented by many system developers to monitor the powder bed homogeneity. Increasing attention has been recently devoted to the possibility of using the same sensing approach to detect also in-plane and out-of-plane geometrical distortions of the part while it is being produced. To this aim, seminal works investigated the suitability of various image segmentation algorithms and assessed the accuracy of layerwise dimensional and geometrical measurements. Nevertheless, there is a lack of automated methods to identify, in-situ and in-process, geometrical defects and out-of-control deviations from the nominal geometry. This study presents a methodology that combines an active contours methodology for image segmentation with a statistical process monitoring approach suitable to deal with complex geometries that change layer by layer. The proposed approach enables a data-driven and automated alarm rule to detect the onset of geometrical distortions during the build by comparing the slice contour reconstruction with the nominal geometry in each layer. Moreover, by coupling edge-based and region-based segmentation techniques, the method is sufficiently robust to be applied to imaging and illumination setups that are already available on industrial L-PBF systems. The effectiveness of the proposed approach was tested on a real case study involving the L-PBF of complex Ti6Al4V parts that exhibited local geometrical distortions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101435
Number of pages17
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Early online date8 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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