Real-Time Sensing of Output Polymer Flow Temperature and Volumetric Flowrate in Fused Filament Fabrication Process

Rakshith Badarinath, Vittaldas Prabhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we addressed key challenges in engineering an instrumentation system for sensing and signal processing for real-time estimation of two main process variables in the Fused-Filament-Fabrication process: (i) temperature of the polymer melt exiting the nozzle using a thermocouple; and (ii) polymer flowrate using extrusion width measurements in real-time, in-situ, using a microscope camera. We used a design of experiments approach to develop response surface models for two materials that enable accurate estimation of the polymer exit temperature as a function of polymer flowrate and liquefier temperature with a fit of. The live video stream of the deposition process was used to compute the flowrate based on a road geometry model. Specifically, a robust extrusion width recognizer algorithm was developed to identify edges of the deposited road and for real-time computation of extrusion width, which was found to be robust to filament colors and materials. The extrusion width measurement was found to be within 0.08 mm of caliper measurements with an value of 99.91% and was found to closely track the requested flowrate from the slicer. This opens new avenues for advancing the engineering science for process monitoring and control of FFF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number618
JournalMaterials
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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