Building blocks for a digital twin of additive manufacturing

G. L. Knapp, T. Mukherjee, J. S. Zuback, H. L. Wei, T. A. Palmer, A. De, T. DebRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus citations


Properties and serviceability of additively manufactured components are affected by their geometry, microstructure and defects. These important attributes are now optimized by trial and error because the essential process variables cannot currently be selected from scientific principles. A recourse is to build and rigorously validate a digital twin of the additive manufacturing process that can provide accurate predictions of the spatial and temporal variations of metallurgical parameters that affect the structure and properties of components. Key building blocks of a computationally efficient first-generation digital twin of laser-based directed energy deposition additive manufacturing utilize a transient, three-dimensional model that calculates temperature and velocity fields, cooling rates, solidification parameters and deposit geometry. The measured profiles of stainless steel 316L and Alloy 800H deposits as well as the secondary dendrite arm spacing (SDAS) and Vickers hardness measurements are used to validate the proposed digital twin. The predicted cooling rates, temperature gradients, solidification rates, SDAS and micro-hardness values are shown to be more accurate than those obtained from a commonly used heat conduction calculation. These metallurgical building blocks serve as a phenomenological framework for the development of a digital twin that will make the expanding knowledge base of additive manufacturing usable in a practical way for all scientists and engineers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-399
Number of pages10
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Aug 15 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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