Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Image Generation from STL Models and its Potential Role in Layer-Quality Evaluation for the Electron Beam Melting Process

Version 1 : Received: 11 January 2019 / Approved: 14 January 2019 / Online: 14 January 2019 (12:39:08 CET)

How to cite: Wong, H.; Fox, P.; Neary, D.; Jones, E. Image Generation from STL Models and its Potential Role in Layer-Quality Evaluation for the Electron Beam Melting Process. Preprints 2019, 2019010140 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201901.0140.v1). Wong, H.; Fox, P.; Neary, D.; Jones, E. Image Generation from STL Models and its Potential Role in Layer-Quality Evaluation for the Electron Beam Melting Process. Preprints 2019, 2019010140 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201901.0140.v1).

Abstract

Electron Beam Melting (EBM) is an increasingly used Additive Manufacturing (AM) technique employed by many industrial sectors, including the medical device and aerospace industries. In EBM process monitoring, data analysis for processed layer quality evaluation is currently focused on the extraction of information from the raw data collected in-EBM process, i.e. thermal/ optical / electronic images, and the comparison between the collected data and the Computed Tomography (CT)/ microscopy images generated post-EBM process. This article postulates that a stack of bitmaps could be generated from the 3D model at a range of Z heights during file preparation of the EBM process, and serve as a reference image set. In-EBM process comparison between that and the workpiece images collected during the EBM process could then be used for quality assessment purposes. In addition, despite the extensive literature on 3D model slicing and contour generation for AM process preparation, no methods regarding image generation from cross sections of the 3D models have been disseminated in details. This article aims to address this by presenting a piece of 3D model-image generation software. The software is capable of generating binary 3D model reference images with user-defined Region-of-Interest (ROI) of the processing area, and Z heights of the model. It is envisaged that this 3D model-reference image generation ability opens up new opportunities in quality assessment for the in-process monitoring of the EBM process.

Subject Areas

Additive Manufacturing; Electron Beam Melting; Electronic Imaging; Image Generation; STL Model

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