Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is a process where additional material is added onto a metal surface to improve the surface quality or to create 3D structures. The most common welding methods such as beam and arc welding methods can be applied for additive manufacturing. Processing lasers are typically used in laser sintering processes where a powder bed is melted by a laser beam (SLM – Selective Laser Melting, DMLS – Direct Metal Laser Sintering). Same type of lasers can be used also for directed energy deposition where the filler material is added from the process head (DED). Cold Metal Transfer (CMT) is typically used for arc based deposition due to its lower heat input as compared to other Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) methods.

Similar to welding processes, in additive manufacturing there is a high energy impact on a small area and the processes emit large amount of thermal light. Therefore the core of the process is extremely bright, and thus also a major challenge for camera-based imaging systems of additive manufacturing processes.

Cavitar’s CAVILUX laser illumination enables clear visualization of additive manufacturing processes as if they are cold by eliminating the process brightness. This is mainly due to the high spectral brightness of the laser lighting in combination with efficient filtering of the thermal light. Our solutions can be applied principally in all arc and laser based additive manufacturing and metal 3D printing processes. The solutions range from high-speed imaging for research purposes to quality assurance in industrial production lines.

Laser Sintering – SML or DMLS

  • Clear visibility of melt pool and surrounding area
  • Suitable for all types of processing laser
  • Recommended product: CAVILUX HF

Directed Energy Deposition

  • Clear visibility of keyhole and added material
  • Clear visibility of melt pool and surrounding area
  • E.g. CO2, Nd:YAG, fiber, disc and diode lasers, electron beams
  • Recommended products: CAVILUX HF, CAVILUX Smart

Cold Metal Transfer (CMT)

  • Clear visibility of filler wire drop forming
  • Clear visibility of melt pool and surrounding area
  • Additional information about shielding gas by applying schlieren imaging
  • Recommended product: CAVILUX HF

Plasma cladding

  • Visibility of melt pool and added material
  • Clear visibility of the work piece and surrounding area
  • Recommended product: CAVILUX HF

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