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An Open-Architecture Multi-Laser Research Platform for Acceleration of Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing (ALSAM)

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As powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (PBFAM) technology matures, researchers and engineers responsible for transitioning the technology from rapid prototyping into manufacturing are gaining a better understanding of the opportunities with this revolutionary technology. A step for accelerating solutions is to allow researchers complete access to all aspects of the process for experimentation. As part of an AFRL-sponsored program with America Makes, a production-grade PBFAM machine (a Concept Laser M2) will be enhanced to allow operation with either the OEM controls and scan path generation or an open-source set of software developed under prior America Makes programs. This machine will be referred to as the ALSAM Platform and will be delivered to the Air Force along with the source code for the open scan path generation software (written in C++) and the open machine controller (written in LabVIEW). Enhancements to the codes will be encouraged from the open source community in the future.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of an open PBFAM system for process research
  • Understand the importance of an open PBFAM system for large-scale parts
  • Suggest improvements to the proposed open system