Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Pilot Attempt to Benchmark Spatial Resolution of an Electronic Imaging System Prototype for In-Process Electron Beam Melting Monitoring

Version 1 : Received: 15 January 2019 / Approved: 17 January 2019 / Online: 17 January 2019 (02:53:17 CET)

How to cite: Wong, H.; Neary, D.; Jones, E.; Fox, P.; Sutcliffe, C. Pilot Attempt to Benchmark Spatial Resolution of an Electronic Imaging System Prototype for In-Process Electron Beam Melting Monitoring. Preprints 2019, 2019010169 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201901.0169.v1). Wong, H.; Neary, D.; Jones, E.; Fox, P.; Sutcliffe, C. Pilot Attempt to Benchmark Spatial Resolution of an Electronic Imaging System Prototype for In-Process Electron Beam Melting Monitoring. Preprints 2019, 2019010169 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201901.0169.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-process EBM monitoring for quality assurance purposes has been a popular research area. Electronic imaging has recently been investigated as one of the in-process EBM data collection methods, alongside thermal/ optical imaging techniques. Despite certain capabilities of an electronic imaging system have been investigated, experiments are yet to be carried out to benchmark one of the most important features of any imaging systems – spatial resolution. This article addresses this knowledge gap by: (1) proposing an indicator for the estimation of spatial resolution which includes the Backscattered Electrons (BSE) information depth, (2) estimating the achievable spatial resolution when electronic imaging is carried out inside an Arcam A1 EBM machine, and (3) presenting an experimental method to conduct edge resolution evaluation with the EBM machine. Analyses of experimental results indicated that the spatial resolution was of the order of 0.3mm-0.4mm when electronic imaging was carried out at room temperature. It is believed that by disseminating an analysis and experimental method to estimate and quantify spatial resolution, this study has contributed to the on-going quality assessment research in the field of in-process monitoring of the EBM process.

Subject Areas

electron beam melting; in-process monitoring; quality control; electronic imaging; spatial resolution

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