Layer Control System

As metal powder bed fusion systems continue to advance, the need for comprehensive process monitoring grows to ensure an integrated production process compared to conventional manufacturing. SLM Solutions has developed the Additive.Quality product line to ensure the highest metal additive manufacturing standards are met. Various modules are offered to monitor, document and verify selective laser melting builds, especially important for industries with high-quality requirements.

The Layer Control System (LCS) is a testing and documentation system that examines the performance of each powder layer. Developed specifically for the SLM process, it monitors the powder bed and detects possible irregularities in coating. The LCS visually detects powder preparation and execution after each cycle and, if necessary, reacts before damage occurs in the process.

Laser Power Monitoring

Laser Power Monitoring (LPM) is a self-supporting, on-axis monitoring system to permanently document the target and the actual emitted laser output during the entire production process. Measurements are recorded at a rate of 100,000 times per second and offer detection of irregularities and representation of laser power values throughout the build.

The instantaneous laser output is measured by uncoupling the laser beam in the optical path and reflecting it to a sensor. The display and analysis take place in real time and any deviations are identified serving as early warning system for build irregularities as well as providing process documentation for quality assurance.

Advantages

  • Permanent monitoring of the actual power of the fiber laser
  • Quality assurance of build jobs
  • Cost reduction through error-free parts

Melt Pool Monitoring

Melt Pool Monitoring (MPM) is an on-axis tool to determine the thermal radiation from the melt on the powder bed. The process radiation occurring from the exposure of several vector types and the locally welded powder particles is a thermal signal diffusely emitted from the melt pool. Using pyrometers, measurements are taken at a rate of up to 100,000 times per second and the data is recorded in real time and saved layer by layer.

The recorded data enables analysis to identify potential irregularities during fusion that can indicate anomalies during the build. The system also supports the efficient further development and evaluation of process parameters.

Advantages

  • Measurement parameters considered independent of material
  • Sequential output of thermal emission plot images of individual layers
  • Supports the development and optimization of process parameters

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