A study of the effect of machine parameters, design strategies and build methods for optimised 3D printed DMLS metal components
This project has characterised the effect of various build parameters on the additively manufactured part quality. Laser power and speed as well as layer thickness were investigated for the bulk, up-skin, down-skin and contour parameters. The part quality was measured in terms of surface roughness, mechanical properties, part density, residual stress, minimum build time and dimensional accuracy. In addition to this, specific features were characterised, and the optimum build parameters and limitations of these features have been identified. A process monitoring methodology has been developed for sin-situ monitoring of the build. This can be used to identify the cause of part failure during the build and/or to inspect the quality of internal features in the part without the need for X-Ray technology. Finally, an interactive process map was developed that depicts the effect of several factors on the part qualities and provide the operator with an insight into the build outcome before pressing play on the machine, optimising machine parameters, saving time, cost and reducing the number of failures during builds.