Army Research Laboratory

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Researchers are applying artificial intelligence (AI) to additive manufacturing processes for U.S.  Army expeditionary manufacturing applications. They aim to achieve fully automated sensing and optimization of the AM process in order to enable real-time qualification and certification of mission-critical AM parts and components that can be manufactured at the point of need.

Applying AI to AM can address the distinct challenges of scaling up production to tens of thousands of parts per year while also scaling out production by increasing the ease of use of AM machines in order to produce “good enough” replacement parts near battlefields and allow for the successful completion of military missions.

Researchers will pursue objectives for individual core research areas that will ensure parallel contributions to the development of a complete expeditionary manufacturing system, including:

  • Pre-processing: Advanced analysis and characterization of AM powders and their potential impact on part design(s)
  • In-situ processing: Integration of computer vision with process modeling of the AM melt pool and build layers for real time optimization
  • Post-processing: Sensing and correlating microstructures to critical physical and performance characteristics of the manufactured part
  • Data fusion: Provide real-time qualification and certification of AM parts, with the requisite cyber security and human-machine teaming to support operation in a resource-constrained environment