Optical In-Situ Monitoring For Metal Additive Manufacturing

The metal 3D printing industry is experiencing explosive growth, but the primary limitation to wider scale industry adoption is lack of part quality control.

This invention, based on O’Dowd’s Ph.D. research at University of California San Diego, is a low-cost method of qualifying metal 3D printed parts as they are being printed by detecting in-process part defects. The system is designed modular; it is able to retrofit any printer to provide instantaneous alerts for build-crashing defects before more machine time and expensive material is wasted.