EOS introduces a new process monitoring and analysis system, EOSTATE MeltPool Monitoring, which is an add-on to the EOS M 290 DMLS (direct metal laser sintering) system. The innovative tool paves the way for complete part traceability as well as automated surveillance and analysis of the melt pool during the DMLS build process for every spot, layer and part.
With EOSTATE MeltPool, EOS expands its existing comprehensive portfolio of monitoring solutions for AM by adding high performance online monitoring, ensuring even greater transparency of the complex build process. The technology therefore targets R&D and manufacturing customers with demanding quality requirements.
Dr Tobias Abeln, Chief Technology Officer at EOS stated, “We developed this powerful, intelligent monitoring solution jointly with plasmo Industrietechnik GmbH, a global supplier of automated, high technology quality assurance systems.
“Our goal is to set a benchmark for high-end, in-process monitoring for AM. With EOSTATE MeltPool Monitoring, we offer a powerful, expert tool to those who need to improve their quality assurance procedures during AM and who want to build up deep insights into the DMLS process to, for example, support further process development.”
Reliable quality assurance tools play an important role in boosting trust in a new technology. The decisive factor for customers on the road towards series manufacturing based on AM is reproducible, top-quality parts at the lowest cost per part possible. EOSTATE MeltPool Monitoring allows part quality assurance to be moved from post- to in-process, not only supporting better risk management, but also reducing time and costs for quality assurance and as a consequence overall cost per part.
EOSTATE MeltPool observes the light emitted by the melt pool. The key elements are a pair of photodiodes located on- and off-axis, a camera adapter, a specialised signal amplifier and spectral filters to separate process light from reflected laser light. The associated software offers automatic data error correction and real-time process visualisation and evaluation. For data analysis, the EOSTATE MeltPool Analysis Toolbox visualises data in 2D or 3D mappings and enables the evaluation of indication clusters. The tool works based on three advanced algorithms to obtain different data interpretations.
From the collected data, conclusions for the resulting quality in the final part can be drawn. For this, customers define corresponding parameters (MPM Parameters) using the open and flexible EOSTATE MeltPool Analysis Toolbox and can set their thresholds according to their particular quality requirements. Live monitoring during the build process of a real part helps to automatically identify error indications based on these MPM parameters.
Image: Close-up of the EOSTATE MeltPool Monitoring screen.