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Identifying uncertainty in laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing models



Felipe F. Lopez, Paul W. Witherell, Brandon M. Lane


As additive manufacturing (AM) matures, models are beginning to take a more prominent stage in design and process planning for AM. A limitation frequently encountered in AM models is a lack of indication about their precision and accuracy. Often overlooked, information on model uncertainty is required for validation of AM models, qualification of AM-produced parts, and uncertainty management. This paper presents a discussion on the origin and propagation of uncertainty in laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) models. Four sources of uncertainty are identified: modeling assumptions, unknown simulation parameters, numerical approximations, and measurement error in calibration data. Techniques to quantify uncertainty in each source are presented briefly, along with estimation algorithms to diminish prediction uncertainty with the incorporation of online measurements. The methods are illustrated with a case study based on a transient, stochastic thermal model designed for melt pool width predictions. Model uncertainty is quantified for single track experiments and the effect of online estimation in overhanging structures is studied via simulation. The application of these concepts to estimation and control of the L-PBF process is suggested.
Journal of Mechanical Design


additive manufacturing


Lopez, F. , Witherell, P. and Lane, B. (2016), Identifying uncertainty in laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing models, Journal of Mechanical Design, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created September 4, 2016, Updated February 19, 2017