Additive manufacturing delivers much needed freedom to manufacturing and engineering design, allowing previously unavailable items to be produced quickly. Even small batches of items can be produced, provided they can meet precise engineering requirements from the get go. We validate feedback control with in situ measurements during the manufacturing process as a viable method to produce parts that meet specific macroscopic structural requirements. The validation is performed by printing a cantilever beam whose stiffness is required to reach a pre-defined value with a suitably instrumented entry-level FDM printer. Feedback control allows such a goal to be met with much higher accuracy than open-loop approaches. The approach can be extended to the production of items that must meet more complex requirements.
KAUST, Saudi Arabia