Through a COllective Research NETwork (CORNET) project led by Ecoplus Plastics and Mechatronics Cluster in Lower Austria, an Austrian-German research team investigated frequent errors, possible process deviations and resulting component defects during the LBM process.
Laser Beam Melting (LBM) is an additive manufacturing technology in which a laser fuses powdery materials layer by layer to a specific geometry. The final quality of this process depends on many complex parameters, which can lead to critical component defects in the event of process deviations.
To create an LBM Additive Manufacturing Error Catalogue, Thomas Schlauf (FOTEC), Max Lutter-Günther (IGCV) and Claudia Rosenkranz (IGCV) systematically analysed the effects of the most varied process deviations on component quality on an EOS M280 laser melting system. The team distinguished between component, material and construction errors that were caused by the primary sources of error—machine, material, process or human. They identified geometric deviations, inadequate surface quality, adhesion defects and porosity as the most common component and material defects. Frequent construction errors were distinguished between automatic construction stops with waste or intact parts and manual construction stops aimed at preventing welding spatter in the event of faults in the shielding gas flow. The experts printed tensile specimens while carefully monitoring the process. The results were then tested according to ASTM E-8 and logged in an LBM Additive Manufacturing error catalogue. This publicly available catalogue aims to support industrial users’ integration of 3D printing technologies.
‘AM 4 Industry’ is a cross-border research project. Eight research partners and 51 companies from Austria, Germany and Belgium studied for two years successful application of additive manufacturing in the industry. A summary of the project results, as well as the LBM Additive Manufacturing Error Catalogue, can be downloaded from the research network website: www.am4industry.com.
The project was financially supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG in the course of a CORNET (COllective Research NETworking).
ecoplus is a committed member of the technology platform AM-Austria: www.am-austria.com.