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Title:
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MODELLING ADDITIVELY MANUFACTURED BODIES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/123549
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Methods for creating three-dimensional volume quality models of additively manufactured metal bodies are disclosed. In one embodiment, a method comprises additively manufacturing each metal layer of a metal body. One or more images of the first metal layer are obtained. The image(s) are processed to detect and map potential manufacturing defects in the first metal layer. A two-dimensional contour of the first metal layer is generated from the three-dimensional CAD model. The mapped defects are integrated into the two-dimensional contour. A first layer of a three-dimensional volume quality model of the metal body is created based on the integrated two-dimensional contour.

Inventors:
HUANG, Wei (Apartment 11, 661 Deauville DriveMonroeville, Pennsylvania, 15146, US)
GLOBIG, Michael A. (6 Ridgewood Court, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, 15068, US)
SIEMON, John T. (111 Dunedin Drive, Cheswick, Pennsylvania, 15024, US)
SPEER, Robert J. (325 Delberta Road, Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, 15068, US)
Application Number:
US2016/015777
Publication Date:
August 04, 2016
Filing Date:
January 29, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ALCOA INC. (Alcoa Corporate Center, 201 Isabella StreetPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15212-5858, US)
International Classes:
B22F3/105; B29C67/00; G01N21/95; G06T7/00
Foreign References:
US20140308153A12014-10-16
US20140263209A12014-09-18
EP1466718A22004-10-13
US20040133298A12004-07-08
US20050074140A12005-04-07
Other References:
J-Y JENG ET AL: "On-Line Layer Profile Dimensions Measurement of Model Maker Rapid Prototyping Using Vision Technology", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY, SPRINGER VERLAG, LONDON; GB, vol. 17, no. 2, 1 January 2001 (2001-01-01), pages 125 - 133, XP002755854, ISSN: 0268-3768, DOI: 10.1007/S001700170200
MIRELES JORGE ET AL: "Closed-loop automatic feedback control in electron beam melting", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY, SPRINGER VERLAG, LONDON; GB, vol. 78, no. 5, 7 January 2015 (2015-01-07), pages 1193 - 1199, XP035491751, ISSN: 0268-3768, [retrieved on 20150107], DOI: 10.1007/S00170-014-6708-4
WEN-HSIANG TSAI: "MOMENT-PRESERVING THRESHOLDING: A NEW APPROACH", COMPUTER VISION GRAPHICS AND IMAGE PROCESSING, ACADEMIC PRESS, DULUTH, MA, US, vol. 29, no. 3, 1 March 1985 (1985-03-01), pages 377 - 393, XP002032060
S. CLIJSTERS ET AL: "In situ quality control of the selective laser melting process using a high-speed, real-time melt pool monitoring system", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY., vol. 75, no. 5-8, 10 August 2014 (2014-08-10), LONDON; GB, pages 1089 - 1101, XP055266002, ISSN: 0268-3768, DOI: 10.1007/s00170-014-6214-8
J.-Y. JENG ET AL: "On Line Model Accuracy Inspection of Model Maker Rapid Prototyping Using Vision Technology", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY., vol. 17, no. 11, 9 May 2001 (2001-05-09), LONDON; GB, pages 825 - 834, XP055265944, ISSN: 0268-3768, DOI: 10.1007/s001700170110
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROOKINS, Irene L. et al. (Greenberg Traurig, LLPc/o Alcoa Technical Center,100 Technical Driv, Alcoa Center Pennsylvania, 15069-0001, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method comprising;

(A) spreading a first layer of metal powder on a powder bed;

(B) selectively melting at least a portion of the first layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising moEten metal of the metal powder;

(C) solidifying the molten metai into a first metal layer of a metal body;

(D) spreading a second layer of metal powder on the powder bed;

(E) obtaining a first digital image of at least a portion of the powder bed:

wherein the first digital Image has a plurality of pixels;

. wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value;

(F) translating the first digital image into a first binary image, wheresrs the translating comprises:

(?) determining a global average intensity value of the plurality of pixels;

(11) resetting any specific intensity value that exceeds a threshold value to be equal to the global average intensity value;

(Hi) determining a local average intensity value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels;

(iv) subtracting the specific intensity value of each pixel of the plurality of pixels from the local average intensity value, thereby determining a background- corrected intensity value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels;

(v) replacing the specific intensity value of each pixel with its determined background-corrected intensity value; and

(vi) performing a thresholding operation on the digital image, ihereby creating the first binary image;

wherein the first binary image has a plurality of binary pixels; wherein the plurality of binary pixels comprises a plurality of particles;

(G) filtering non-drag particles from the first blnasy image, wherein the filtering comprises: (ί) performing an x-axis close operation on each binary pixel of the plurality of binary pixels;

(ii) removing from the first binary image all particles having a particle width below a threshold width;

(iii) removing from the first binary image ail particles having a particie elongation ratio beiow a threshoid ratio;

(iv) performing a dilation operation on the first binary image;

(v) determining the number of on-pixels in each row of the first binary image;

(vi) determining the number of particles in each row of the first binary image

(vii) switching any on-pixels to off-pixels for any pixels in a row of the first binary image where the row has either a number of on-pixels less than a threshoid on- pixel number, or a number of particles greater than a threshold particle number;

(H) identifying all remaining particles in the first binary image as drag particles associated with the spreading a second layer step (D);

(I) mapping the drag associated with the spreading a second layer step (D), wherein the mapping comprises:

(i) determining a location of each drag particle in the first binary image,

(ii) determining a size of each drag particle, wherein a total number of pixels comprising each drag particle is representative of the size of each respective drag particle;

(iii) mapping the location and size of each drag particle to a respective location in the powder bed:

(J) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the location and size of each drag particle associated with the spreading a second layer step (D),

2, The method of claim 1 , wherein the creating step comprises:

generating a two dimensional contour of the first metal layer of the metal body from a pre-designed three-dimensional model of the metal body;

integrating the location and size of each drag particle into the two dimensional contour of the first metal layer; and creating the first layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the integrated contour of the first metal layer.

3. The method of claim I , wherein the two dimensional contour of the first metal layer is extracted from a CLi (Common Layer interface) file, and wherein the pre-dcsigned three- dimensional model of the metal body comprises an STL file.

4. The method of claim 1 , comprising:

selectively melting at least a portion of the second layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder;

solidifying the molten metal into a second metal layer of the metal body;

spreading a third layer of metal powder on the powder bed;

obtaining a second digital image of at least a portion of the powder bed;

translating the second digital image into a second binary image;

filtering non-drag particles from the second binary image

identifying all remaining particles in the second binary image as drag particles associated with the spreading a third layer step;

mapping the drag, thereby determining a location and size of each drag particle associated with the spreading a third layer step;

creating a second layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the location and size of each drag particle associated with the spreading a third layer step,

5. The method of claim 1 , wherein the performing a thresholding operation step (F)(vi) comprises performing an Interclass variance thresholding operation on the digital image,

6. A method comprising:

(A) spreading a first layer of metal powder on a powder bed:

(B) selectively melting at least a portion of the first layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder;

(€) solidifying the molten metal into a first metal layer of a metal body; (D) spreading a second layer of metal powder on the powder bed;

(E) obtaining a first digital image of at least a portion of the powder bed;

(F) first translating the first digital image into a first primary binary image via a moment-preserving thresholding operation;

wherein the first primary binary image has a first plurality of particles comprising on-pixeis;

(G) second translating the first digital image into a first alternate binary image via a predetermined thresholding operation:

wherein the first alternate binary image has a second plurality of particles comprising on-pixeis;

(II) filtering non-super-elevation particles from the first alternate binary image, wherein the filtering comprises:

(i) removing from the first alternate binary image all particles having a number of on~pixels less than a threshold number of on-pixeis, thereby creating a first filtered binary image;

(Ϊ) multiplying the first primary binary image with the first filtered binary image, thereby creating a first multiplied binary image:

wherein the first multiplied binary image has a third plurality of particles comprising on-pixeis;

(J) identifying the third plurality of particles as super-elevation particles associated with the selectively melting step (B);

(K) mapping the super-elevation, wherein the mapping comprises:

(i) determining a location of each super-elevation particle m the first multiplied binary image;

(ii) determining a size of each super-elevation particle in the first multiplied binary image, wherein a total number of pixels comprising each super-elevation particle is representative of the size of that super-elevation particle;

(hi) mapping the location and size of each super-elevation particle to a respective location in the metal body; (L) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the location and size of each super-elevation particle associated with the selectively melting step (B).

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the creating step comprises:

generating a two dimensional contour of the first metal layer of the metal body from a pre-designed three-dimensional model of the metal body;

integrating the location and size of each super-elevation particle into the two dimensional contour of the first metal layer; and

creating the first layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the integrated contour of the first metal layer,

S, The method of claim 6, wherein the first translating step comprises performing a predetermined thresholding operation on the nlk digital image.

9, The method of claim 6 wherein, the second translating step comprises performing a moment-preserving thresholding operation on the ntn digital image.

10, The method of claim 8 comprising:

selectively melting at least a portion of the second layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder;

solidifying the molten metal into a second metal layer of the metal body;

spreading a third layer of metal powder on the powder bed;

obtaining a second digital image of at least a portion of the powder bed;

first translating the second digital image into a second primary binary image;

second translating the second digital image into a second alternate binary image; filtering the second alternate binary image, thereby creating a filtered second alternate binary image

multiplying the second primary binary image with the filtered second alternate binary image, thereby creating a second multiplied binary image; identifying ail particles of the second multiplied binary image as super-elevation particles associated with the selectively meiting at least a portion of the second layer step; mapping the super-elevation, thereby determining a location and size of each superelevation particle;

creating a second layer of the three dimensional volume quality mode! of the metal body based at least in part on the location and size of each super-elevation particle.

1 1. A method comprising:

(A) spreading a first layer of metal powder on a powder bed;

(B) selectively meiting at least a portion of the first layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder;

(C) solidifying the molten metal into a first metal layer of a metal body;

(D) concomitant to the selectively meiting step (b), obtaining a first sequential set of infrared images of the melt pool;

wherein each infrared image comprises a plurality of pixels;

wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value;

(E) correlating the specific intensity value of each pixel of each infrared image of the first sequential set to a temperature;

(F) mapping the peak temperatures associated with the selectively melting step (B), wherein the mapping comprises:

(i) determining a peak temperature point in each infrared image of the first sequential set;

wherein each peak temperature point corresponds to the pixei representing the highest temperature in each respective infrared image;

(ii) determining a location of each peak temperature point in its respective infrared image;

(iii) mapping the location of each peak temperature point in its respective infrared image to a location on the first metal layer, thereby creating a first digital temperature map of the first metal layer;

(G) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based on the mapping step (F),

12. The method of claim 1 1 , wherein the creating step comprises:

generating a two dimensional contour of the first metal layer of the metal body from a pre-designed three-dimensional model of the metal body;

integrating the location and size of each peak temperature point into the two dimensional contour of the first metal layer; and

creating the first layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the integrated contour of the first metal layer,

13. The method of claim 1 1 comprising:

spreading a second layer of metal powder on a powder bed;

selectively melting at least a portion of the second layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder;

solidifying the molten metal Into a second metal layer of a metal body;

concomitant to the selectively meitsng step, obtaining a second sequential set of infrared Images of the melt pool;

correlating the specific intensity value of each pixel of each infrared image of the second sequential set to a temperature;

mapping the peak temperatures associated with the selectively melting at least a portion of the second layer step, wherein the mapping comprises:

creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based on the mapping step,

14. A method comprising:

(A) obtaining a first digital image with a camera, where the first digital image is of at least a portion of a powder bed including a layer of metal powder distributed over a layer of additiveiy manufactured body;

wherein the first digital image has a plurality of pixels;

wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value;

(B) translating by a processor the first digital image into a first binary image having non-drag particles: (C) filtering by th processor non-drag particles from the first binary image,:

(D) identifying by the processor ail remaining particles in the first binary image as drag particles associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A);

(E) mapping by the processor the drag associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A), wherein the mapping comprises a mapping a series of coordinates (e.g, x, y, z location) of location, size, and type of each respective drag particle for the layer of metal powder;

(f) registering the snap in a list form;

(g) repeating (a) - (fj for a successive number of layers to create a defects registration list including the list for each layer;

(h) converting by the processor the 3D CAD model to 2D contour for each layer;

(i) extracting by the processor the coordinates of detected defects from the registration list for a single layer and embed/map into the corresponding 2D contour for that layer;

(i) repeating (g) and (h) for all layers to yield a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body including ail the detected defects at each layer,

15, A method comprising:

(A) obtaining a first digital image of at least a portion of a powder bed including a layer of metal powder distributed over a layer of additively manufactured body;

wherein the first digital image has a plurality of pixels;

wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value;

(B) translating the first digital image into a first binary image having non-drag particles:

(C) filtering non-drag particles from the first binary image,:

(D) identifying all remaining particles in the first binary image as drag particles associated with the spreading of the iayer of metal powder step (A);

(E) mapping the drag associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A), wherein the mapping comprises a location and size of each respective drag particle;

(F) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in past on the location and size of each drag particle associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A). 16, The method of claim 15, wherein the translating step further comprises;

(i) determining a global average intensity value of the plurality of pixels;

(ii) resetting any specific intensity value that exceeds a threshold value to be equal to the giobai average intensity value;

(iii) determining a local average intensity value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels;

(iv) subtracting the specific intensity value of each pixel of the plurality of pixels from the local average intensity value, thereby determining a background- corrected intensity value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels;

(v) replacing the specific intensity value of each pixel with its determined background-corrected intensity value; and

(vs) performing a thresholding operation on the digital image, thereby creating the first binary image;

wherein the first binaty image has a plurality of binary pixels; further wherein the plurality of binary pixels comprises a plurality of particles,

17. The method of claim 15, wherein the filtering step further comprises:

(i) performing an x~axis close operation on each binary pixel of the plurality of binary pixels;

(ii) removing from the first binary image all particles having a particle width below a threshold width;

(iii) removing from the first binary image all particles having a particle elongation ratio below a threshold ratio;

(iv) performing a dilation operation on the first binary image;

(v) determining the number of on-pixeis in each row of the first binary image;

(vi) determining the number of particles in each row of the first binary image; and

(vii) switching any on-pixels to off-pixels for any pixels in a row of the first binary image where the row has either a number of on-pixeis less than a threshold on- pixel number, or a number of particles greater than a threshold particle number, 18, The method of claim 15, wherein mapping further comprises:

(i) determining a location of each drag particie in the first binary image,

(ii) determ ining a size of each drag particle, wherein a totai number of pixels comprising each drag particie is representative of the size of each respective drag particle; and

(hi) mapping the location and size of each drag particie to a respective location in the powder bed.

19, A method comprising:

(A) utilizing a camera to obtain a first digital image of at least a portion cf a powder bed including a layer of metal powder distributed over a layer of additively manufactured body and a portion of solidified molten metal indicative of an additive manufactured portion;

wherein the first digital image has a plurality of pixels;

wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value;

(B) first translating with a processor the first digital image into a first primary binary image via a moment-preserving thresholding operation;

wherein the first primary binary image has a first plurality of particles comprising on-pixels;

(C) second translating with the processor the first digital image into a first alternate binary Image via a predetermined thresholding operation;

wherein the first alternate binary image has a second plurality of particles comprising on~pixels;

(D) filtering with the processor at ieast some non-super-elevation particles from the first alternate binary image, wherein the filtering comprises:

(i) removing from the first alternate binary image ail particles having a number of on-pixels less than a threshold number of on-pixels, thereby creating a first filtered binary image;

(E) multiplying the first primary binary image with the first filtered binary image, thereby creating a first multiplied binary image;

wherein the first multiplied binary image has a third plurality of particles comprising on-pixels; (F) ideniifying the third plurality of particles as super-elevation particles associated with the additively manufactured portion in step (A);

(G) mapping the super-elevation, wherein the mapping comprises:

(i) determining a location of each super-elevation particle in the first multiplied binary image;

(ii) determining a size of each super-elevation particle in the first multiplied binary image, wherein a totai number of pixels comprising each super-elevation particle is representative of the size of that super-elevation particle;

(iii) mapping the location and size of each super-elevation particle to a respective location in the metal body; and

(H) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the mapping step.

20, A method comprising:

(A) using a camera to obtain a first sequential set of infrared images of the melt pool concomitant to additively manufacturing an AM body;

wherein each infrared image comprises a plurality of pixels;

wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value;

(B) correlating the specific intensity value of each pixel of each infrared image of the fsrst sequential set to a temperature;

(C) mapping the peak temperatures associated that from melt pool of step (A), wherein the mapping comprises:

(i) determining a peak temperature point in each infrared image of the first sequential set;

wherein each peak temperature point corresponds to the pixel representing the highest temperature in each respective infrared image;

(ii) determining a location of each peak temperature point in its respective infrared image;

(iil) mapping the location of each peak temperature point in its respective infrared image to a location on the first metal layer, thereby creating a first digital temperature map of the first metal layer;

(D) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metai body based on the mapping step (C).

Description:
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MODELLING

ADD1TIVELY MANUFACTURED BODIES

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[001 ] This application is a non-provisional of and claims priority to U.S. Application Serial No. 62/109,41 1 , entitled "Methods for Creating Three-Dimensional Volume Quality Models of Additively Manufactured Metal Bodies" filed on January 29, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[002] Additive manufacturing may be used to build, via computer control successive layers of a metal body. Defects in the metal body may occur as a result of the additive manufacturing process.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[003] Broadly, the present disclosure relates to systems and methods of creating three- dimensional volume quality models of additively manufactured metal bodies. More specifically, the present disclosure is directed towards systems and methods of utilizing images obtained during the AM build and processing those images to extract information indicative of defects detected on the AM part in situ during the build.

SUMMARY

[004] Broadly, the present patent application relates to systems and methods of creating three-dimensional volume quality models of additively manufactured metal bodies. More specifically, the present disclosure is directed towards utilizing images obtained during the AM build and processing those images to extract information indicative of defects (e.g. drag, super elevation, and/or thermal events). [005] In some embodiments, events occurring throughout the AM buiid or during discrete times within a buiid can result in residual stress, heat conduction, and/or process parameters in the AM part that has distortion and/or shrinkage. Two non-limiting indicators of distortion and/or shrinkage during build (in situ during AM) include characteristics in the build part include: drag (e.g. non-uniform powder distribution) and super elevation (height above threshold build height), Two indicators of distortion and/or problems in building include non-uniform temperature and/or non-uniform part quality.

[006J In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for detecting and quantifying drag during an AM part build, in some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for detecting and mapping drag during an AM part buiid. In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for detecting and quantifying super elevation that occurs during an AM part build, In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for detecting and mapping super elevation during an AM part buiid. in some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for detecting and quantifying thermal events (peak temperature) during an AM part build. In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for detecting and mapping thermal events (peak temperature) during an AM part buiid.

[007] In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for creating a three dimensional quality model for defects that occurs during an AM part build,

[008] ϊη some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for creating a three dimensional quality model for drag that occurs during an AM part build, in some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for creating a three dimensional quality model for super elevation that occurs during an AM pari build, in some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for creating a three dimensional quality model for thermal events (defects) that occurs during an AM part build. [009] In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for creating a three dimensional quality model for thermal events (defects) that occurs during an AM part build and comparing the model to NDE testing evaluation (CT, X-ray, and/or UT)

[0010] in some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for creating a three dimensional quality model configured to enable early detection of defects indicative of a "stop build" event during AM part production. In some embodiments, systems and methods are provided for creating a three dimensional quality model configured to enable early detection of defects and adjusting of AM process parameters in order to ameliorate/fix the defect during AM part production.

[001 1 ] In one aspect, a method is provided, comprising: (A) obtaining a first digital image with a camera, where the first digital image is of at least a portion of a powder bed including a layer of metal powder distributed over a layer of additively manufactured body; wherein the first digital image has a plurality of pixels; wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value; (B) translating by a processor the first digital image into a first binary image having non-drag particles; (C) filtering by the processor non-drag particles from the first binary Image, (D) identifying by the processor ail remaining particles in the first binary image as drag particles associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A); (E) mapping by the processor the drag associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A), wherein the mapping comprises a mapping a series of coordinates (e.g. x, y, z location) of location, size, and type of each respective drag particle for the layer of metal powder; (f) registering the map in a list form; (g) repeating (a) - (f) for a successive number of layers to create a defects registration list including the list for each layer; (h) converting by the processor the 3D CAD model to 2D contour for each layer; (i) extracting by the processor the coordinates of detected defects from the registration list for a single layer and embed/map into the corresponding 2D contour for that layer; (j) repeating g&h for all layers to yield a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body including all the detected defects at each layer,

[0032] in one aspect, a method is provided, comprising: (A) obtaining a first digital image of at least a portion of a powder bed including a layer of metal powder distributed over a layer of addiiively manufactured body; wherein the first digital image has a plurality of pixels; wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value; (B) translating the first digital image into a first binary Image having non-drag particles; (C) filtering non-drag particles from the first binary image,: (D) identifying ail remaining particles in the first binary image as drag particles associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A); (E) mapping the drag associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A), wherein the mapping comprises a location and size of each respective drag particle; (F) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the location and size of each drag particle associated with the spreading of the layer of metal powder step (A).

[0013] in one aspect, a method is provided, where the translating step further comprises: (i) determining a global average intensity value of the plurality of pixels; (ii) resetting any specific intensity value that exceeds a threshold value to be equal to the global average intensity value; (ill) determining a local average intensity value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels; (iv) subtracting the specific intensity value of each pixel of the plurality of pixels from the local average intensity value, thereby determining a background-corrected intensity value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels; (v) replacing the specific intensity value of each pixel with its determined background-corrected intensity value and (vi) performing a thresholding operation on the digital image, thereby creating the first binary image; wherein the first binary image has a plurality of binary pixels; further wherein the plurality of binary pixels comprises a plurality of particles. [0014] In one aspect, the filtering step further comprises: (i) performing an x-axis close operation on each binary pixel of the plurality of binary pixeis:(ii) removing from the first binary image all particles having a particle width below a threshold width; (iii) removing from the first binary image all particles having a particle elongation ratio below a threshold ratio; (iv) performing a dilation operation on the first binary image; (v) determining the number of on-pixeis in each row of the first binary image; (vi) determining the number of particles in each row of the first binary image; and (vii) switching any on-pixeis to off-pixels for any pixels in a row of the first binary image where the row has either a number of on- pixels less than a threshold ort-pixel number, or a number of particles greater than a threshold particle number,

[0015] In one aspect, the mapping step comprises: (i) determining a location of each drag particle in the first binary image, (ii) determining a size of each drag particle, wherein a total number of pixels comprising each drag particle is representative of the size of each respective drag particle; and (iii) mapping the location and size of each drag particle to a respective location in the powder bed,

[0016] In one aspect, a method is provided, including: (A) utilizing a camera to obtain a first digital image of at least a portion of a powder bed including a layer of metal powder distributed over a layer of additiveiy manufactured body and a portion of solidified molten metal indicative of an additive manufactured portion; wherein the first digital image has a plurality of pixels; wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value; (B) first translating with a processor the first digital image into a first primary binary image via a moment-preserving thresholding operation; wherein the first primary biliary image has a first plurality of particles comprising on-pixels; (C) second translating with the processor the first digital image into a first alternate binary image via a predetermined thresholding operation; wherein the first alternate binary image has a second plurality of particles comprising on-pixels; (D) filtering with the processor at least some non-super-elevation particles from the first alternate binary image, wherein the filtering comprises: (i) removing from the first alternate binary image all panicles having a number of on-pixels less than a threshold number of on-pixels, thereby creating a first filtered binary image; (E) multiplying the first primary binary image with the first filtered binary image, thereby creating a first multlpfied binary image; wherein the first multiplied binajy image has a third plurality of particles comprising on-pixels; (F) identifying the third plurality of particles as superelevation particles associated with the additively manufactured portion in step (A); (G) mapping the super-elevation, wherein the mapping comprises:

(1) determining a location of each super-elevation particle in the first multiplied binajy image; (ii) determining a size of each super-elevation particle in the first multiplied binary image, wherein a total number of pixels comprising each super-elevation particle is representative of the size of that super-elevation particle; (iii) jnapping the location and size of each superelevation particle to a respective location in the metal body; and (H) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the mapping step,

[0017] In one aspect, a method is provided comprising: (A) using a camera to obtain a first sequential set of infrared images of the melt pool concomitant to additively manufacturing an AM body; wherein each infrared image comprises a plurality of pixels; wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value; (B) correiating the specific intensity value of each pixel of each infrared image of the first sequential set to a temperature; (€) mapping the peak temperatures associated that from melt pool of step (A), wherein the mapping comprises: (i) determining a peak temperature point in each infrared image of the first sequential set; wherein each peak temperature point corresponds to the pixel representing the highest temperature in each respective infrared image; (ii) determining a location of each peak temperature point in its respective infrared image; (iii) mapping the location of each peak temperature point in its respective infrared image to a location on the first metal layer, thereby creating a first digital temperature map of the first metal layer; (D) creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metai body based on the mapping step (C).

[0018] In one embodiment, a method of creating a three-dimensional volume quality model of an additive ly manufactured metal body includes: spreading a first layer of metal powder on a powder bed, selectively melting (e.g. with a laser) at least a portion of the first layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metai of the metal powder; solidifying the molten metal into a first metal layer of the metal body; and spreading a second layer of metal powder on the powder bed. The method may also include obtaining a first digital Image of at least a portion of the powder bed, wherein the first digital image has a plurality of pixels, and wherein each pixel of the plurality of pixels has a specific intensity value.

[0019] The method may also include calibrating and correcting the first digital image, which may have perspective distortion due to the position and view angle of the digital camera, into a corrected digital image that the location of each image pixel is related to a respective location in the powder bed.

[0020] The method may also include translating the first digital image into a first binary image, wherein the translating comprises: determin ing a global average intensity value of the plurality of pixels; resetting any specific intensity value that exceeds a threshold value to be equal to the global average intensity value; determining a local average intensity value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels; subtracting the specific intensity value of each pixel of the plurality of pixels from the local average intensity value, thereby determining a background-corrected intensity value for each pixel of the plurality of pixels; replacing the specific intensity value of each pixel with its determined background-corrected intensity value; and performing a thresholding operation on the digital image, thereby creating the first binary image, wherein the first binary image has a plurality of binary pixels and, wherein the plurality of binary pixeis comprises a plurality of particles. The method may include filtering non-drag particles from the first binary image, wherein the filtering comprises: performing an x~axis close operation on each binary pixel of the plurality of binary pixels; removing from the first binary image all particles having a particle width below a threshold width; removing from the first binary image ail particles having a particle elongation ratio below a threshold ratio; performing a dilation operation on the first binary image; determining the number of on-pixeis in each row of the first binary image; determining the number of particles in each row of the first binary image; switching any on-pixeis to off-pixels for any pixels in a row of the first binary image where the row has either a number of on-pixeis less than a threshold on-pixel number, or a number of particles greater than a threshold particle number; identifying ail remaining particles in the first binary image as drag particles associated with the spreading a second layer step; and mapping the drag associated with the spreading a second layer step. The step of mapping the drag may comprise: determining a location of each drag particle in the first binary image; determining a size of each drag particle, wherein a totai number of pixels comprising each drag particle is representative of the size of each respective drag particle; and mapping the location and size of each drag particie to a respective location in the powder bed. The method may include creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the location and size of each drag particie associated with the spreading a second layer step.

[0021 ] In one embodiment, creating the first layer of the three dimensional volume quality model step comprises; generating a two dimensional contour of the first metal layer of the metai body from a pre-designed three-dimensional model of the metal body; integrating the location and size of each drag particle into the two dimensional contour of the first metal layer; and creating the first layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the integrated contour of the first metal layer. In one embodiment, the two dimensional contour of the first metal layer may be extracted from a CLI (Common Layer Interface) file. In one embodiment, the pre-designed three-dimensional mode! of the metal body comprises an STL file. As used herein, STL means: a file format for 3D mode! data used by machines to build physical parts (e,g. where STL is the standard interface for AM systems).

[0022] In one embodiment, a method of creating a three-dimensional volume quality model of an additively manufactured metal body includes: selectively melting (e.g. with a laser) at least a portion of the second layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder; solidifying the molten metal into a second metal layer of the metal body; spreading a third layer of metal powder on the powder bed; obtaining a second digital image of at least a portion of the powder bed;; translating the second digital image into a second binary image; filtering non-drag particles from the second binary image; identifying all remaining particles in the second binary image as drag particles associated with the spreading a third layer step; mapping the drag, thereby determining a location and size of each drag particle associated with the spreading a third layer step; and creating a second layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the !oeation and size of each drag particle associated with the spreading a third layer step. In one embodiment, the performing a thresholding operation step may comprise performing an interclass variance thresholding operation on the digital image.

[0023] In another aspect, a method of creating a three-dimensional volume quality model of an additively manufactured metal body includes: spreading a first layer of metal powder on a powder bed; selectively melting (e.g. with a laser) at least a portion of the first layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder; solidifying the moiten metal into a first metal layer of metal body; spreading a second layer of metal powder on the powder bed; obtaining a first digital image cf at least a portion of the powder bed; translating the first digital image into a first primary binary image via a moment-preserving thresholding operation, wherein the first primary binary image has a first plurality of particles comprising on-pixels; second translating the first digital image into a first alternate binary image via a predetermined thresholding operation, wherein the first alternate binary image has a second plurality of particles comprising on-pixels; and filtering non-super-eievatton particles from the first alternate binary image, wherein the filtering includes removing from the first alternate binary image all particles having a number of on- pixels less than a threshold number of on-pixels, thereby creating a first filtered binary image; multiplying the first primary binary image with the first filtered binary image, thereby creating a first multiplied binary image, wherein the first multiplied binary image has a third plurality of particles comprising on-pixels; identifying the third plurality of particles as superelevation particles associated with the selectively melting step; and mapping the superelevation. Mapping the super-elevation may include: determining a location of each superelevation particle in the first multiplied binary image; determining a size of each superelevation particle in the first multiplied binary image, wherein a total number of pixels comprising each super-elevation particle is representative of the size of that super-elevation particle; and mapping the location and size of each super-elevation particle to a respective location in the metal body. The method may include creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the location and size of each super-elevation particle associated with the selectively melting step. [0024] ϊη one embodiment, the creating step includes: generating a two dimensional contour of the first metal layer of the metal body from a pre-designed three-dimensional model of the metal body; integrating the location and size of each super-elevation particle into the two dimensional contour of the first metal iayer; and creating the first layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in pari on the integrated contour of the first metal iayer,

[0025] In one embodiment, the first translating step comprises performing a predetermined thresholding operation on the n ih digital image. In one embodiment, the second translating step comprises performing a moment-preserving thresholding operation on the n* digital image.

[0026] In one embodiment a method of creating a three-dimensional volume quality model of an additively manufactured metal body includes: selectively melting (e.g. with a laser) at least a portion of the second iayer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder; solidifying the molten metal into a second metal iayer of the metal body; spreading a third layer of metal powder on the powder bed; obtaining a second digital image of at least a portion of the powder bed; translating the second digital image into a second primary binary image; second translating the second digital image into a second alternate binary image; filtering the second alternate binary image, thereby creating a filtered second alternate binary image; multiplying the second primary binary image with the filtered second alternate binary image, thereby creating a second multiplied binary image; identifying all particles of the second multiplied binary image as super-elevation particles associated with the selectively melting at least a portion of the second iayer step; mapping the super-elevation, thereby determining a location and size of each super-elevation particle; and creating a second layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the location and size of each superelevation particle.

[0027] In another aspect, a method of creating a three-dimensional volume quality model of an additively manufactured metal body includes: spreading a first layer of metal powder on a powder bed; selectively melting at least a portion of the first layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder; solidifying the molten metal into a first metal layer of a metal body; concomitant to the selectively melting step (b), obtaining a first sequential set of infrared images of the melt pool, wherein each infrared image comprises a plurality of pixels, and wherein each pixel of the pluraiity of pixels has a specific intensity value; correlating the specific intensity value of each pixel of each infrared image of the first sequential set to a temperature; calibrating and correcting the sequential set of infrared images, which may have perspective distortion due to the position and view angle of the digital camera, into a corrected set of digital image that the location of each image pixel in each image is related to a respective location in the powder bed; mapping the peak temperatures associated with the selectively melting step. Mapping the peak temperatures may include: determining a peak temperature point in each infrared image of the first sequential set, wherein each peak temperature point corresponds to the pixel representing the highest temperature in each respective infrared image; determining a location of each peak temperature point in its respective infrared image; mapping the location of each peak temperature point in its respective infrared image to a location in the powder bed for the first metal layer, thereby creating a first digital temperature map of the first metal layer; and creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based on the mapping step.

[0028] In one embodiment, the creating step includes: generating a two dimensional contour of the first metal layer of the metal body from a pre~designed three-dimensional mode! of the metal body; integrating the location and size of each peak temperature point into the two dimensional contour of the first metal layer; and creating the first layer of the three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based at least in part on the integrated contour of the first metal layer.

[0029] in one embodiment, a method of creating a three-dimensional volume quality model of an additively manufactured metal body includes: spreading a second layer of metal powder on a powder bed; selectively melting at least a portion of the second layer of metal powder, thereby forming a melt pool comprising molten metal of the metal powder; solidifying the molten metal Into a second metal layer of a metal body; concomitant to the selectively melting step, obtaining a second sequential set of infrared images of the melt pool; correlating the specific intensity value of each pixel of each infrared image of the second sequential set to a temperature; and mapping the peak temperatures associated with the selectively melting at least a portion of the second layer step, wherein the mapping includes creating a first layer of a three dimensional volume quality model of the metal body based on the mapping step.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0030] FIG. la is a schematic illustration of one embodiment of a method for creating three-dimensional volume quality models of additively manufactured metal bodies.

[0031] FIGS, 1 b-d are examples of images of a powder bed,

[0032] FIGS, 2a-c are schematic illustrations of one embodiment of a method for creating three-dimensional volume quality models based on detected drag defects in additively manufactured metal bodies. [0033] FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of one embodiment of a method for creating three-dimensional volume quality models based on detected super-elevation defects in addiiively manufactured metai bodies,

[0034] FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of one embodiment of a method for creating three-dimensional volume quality models based on generated peak, temperature maps in addiiively manufactured metai bodies.

[0035] FIGS, 5a~d are examples of images produced in accordance with the disclosed methods,

[0036] FIG, 6 is an example of a time-series chart showing the amount of drag detected in each layer of metal powder used to form a metai body,

[0037] FiG, 7 is an example of a time-series chart showing the amount of superelevation detected in each metal layer of a metai body.

[0038] FIG, 8a is an illustration of one embodiment of a temperature map of the n* metai layer of several metal bodies,

[0039] FiG, 8b is a digital image of the nth metai layer of the metai bodies of FIG. 8a.

[0040] FIG, 9a is an iilusiraiion of a temperature map of the nth metal layer of a metal body.

[0041] FIG. 9b is a digital image of the nth metal layer of the metai body of FIG. 9a.

[0042] FIG. 9e is an illustration of a two-dimensional contour of the nth metal layer of the metal body of FIG 9a,

[0043] FIG, 10 is a schematic of one embodiment of a method of creating a volume quality model in accordance with the instant disclosure.

[0044] FIG. i i is a schematic of another embodiment of a method of creating a volume quality model. [0045] FIG. 12 is a plan view of an embodiment of a calibration build pattern utilized in conjunction with a calibration method, in accordance with the instant disclosure. As depicted in FIG, 12, the build pattern consists of four squares in a spaced configuration from one another such that their sides are parallel The plan view provides the buiid plate (substrate or base plate) with grid marks corresponding to x, y coordinates for the AM machine. The part design for calibration depicted in FIG, 12 includes four square frames built over a few hundred layers in an AM buiid. The parts (squares) are positioned and built inside of the building platform of the AM machine. The X and Y coordinates of the 4 corner points of the external edges of each square frame are pre~determined and known parameters, such that the X and Y coordinates of total 16 corner points are machine coordinates with respect to the building platform.

[0046] FIG, 13 A-D depicts a sequence/progression of obtaining visible images (e.g. via a digital camera configured to take images in the visible spectrum), where 13A and I 3B are successive views of an additive manufacturing part build, and FIG 13C and FIG. 13D are those same views, respectively, having been processed via a thresholding operation to depict only the part build in the image, FIG, 13A an example of a "first" captured visible image (original): FIG, 13B is an example of a "second" captured visible image (original) showing an additive manufacturing build progression on a build pattern used to calibrate the monitoring system components (cameras) in accordance with the instant disclosure, FIG. 13C is an example of ths "first" threshold image of FIG. I 3A, after a thresholding operation performed via a processor, FIG, 13D is an example of the "second" threshold image of FIG. 33B, after a thresholding operation is performed on the original image via a processor. The visible light camera has an exposure time ofl second per image, which accumulates the visible light from the laser heating the powder and multiple layers are recorded to improve the coordinate system transformation accuracy. [0047] FIG, 34A-B is an example depleting the sequence/operation of adding subsequent threshoided images together to create a "partial" added visible image (FIG, 14A, which depicts FIG, 13C added to FIG, 13D) and a "complete" added visible image (FIG, 14B), depicting the entire calibration pattern built, illustrating the perspective distortion of the visible camera, based on the position (angle) of the visible camera compared the machine position (e.g. plan view, as in FIG. 12).

[0048] FIG. ! SA-D depicts a sequence/progression of obtaining thermal images (e.g. via a thermal camera configured to take thermal images), where I SA and 15B are successive views of an additive manufacturing part build, and FIG ISC and FIG, 15D are ¾ose same views, respectively, having been processed via a thresholding operation to depict only the part, build in the image. FIG. I SA an example of a "first" captured thermal image (original); FIG, 15B is an example of a "second" captured thermal image (original) showing an additive manufacturing build progression on a build pattern used to caiibrate the monitoring system components (cameras) in accordance with the instant disclosure. FIG. I SC is an example of the "first" threshold image of FIG, 15 A, after a thresholding operation performed via a processor, FIG. 15D is an example of the "second" threshold image of FIG, 15B, after a thresholding operation is performed on the original image via a processor. The camera for thermal imaging is exposed for 6 second per image (e.g. slightly longer than the AS second build time for this AM part), which accumulates infrared light emitted by the laser heating the powder and multiple layers are again captured,

[0049] FIG, 16A-B depicts an example of the sequence/operation of adding subsequent thresholded images together to create a "partial" added thermal Image (FIG. 16A, which depicts FIG. 15C added to FIG, I 5D) and a "complete" added thermal image (FIG. 16B), depicting the entire calibration pattern built, illustrating the perspective distortion of the thermal camera, based on the position (angle) of the thermal camera compared the machine position (e.g, plan view, as in FIG. 12),

[OOSOj FIG, I 7A-D depict an operation (sub-step) of the calibration method in accordance with the instant disclosure, Figure 17A depicts the edge detecting step providing the 'added visible image' of the calibration part build configured for obtaining the x, coordinates of the calibration pattern build, with a plurality of lines in a grid pattern overlaid on the Image in order to detect edge and corner points of the calibration part build, FIG, I 7B Is the calibrated visible image of FIG, 37A, showing the corrected visible image, created from a perspective transformation matrix (e.g. the mathematical model of the x, y coordinates of the calibration part from the perspective of the visible camera compared to and corrected by the machine coordinates (e.g, the plan view coordinates from the calibration part build depicted In FIG.12),

[0051] Figure 17C depicts the edge detecting step providing the 'added thermal image' of the calibration part build configured for obtaining the x, y coordinates of the calibration pattern build, with a plurality of lines in a grid pattern overlaid on the image in order to detect edges and extract corner points of the calibration part build (based on the detected edges). The X and Y image coordinates of ail the 16 corner points are obtained, which are compared and calibrated to the machine coordinate system, A perspective transformation matrix is also obtained and saved, which is then used to remove perspective distortion, FIG, 17D is the calibrated visible image of FIG, 17C, showing the corrected thermal image, created from a perspective transformation matrix (e.g. the mathematical model of the x, y coordinates of the calibration part from the perspective of the thermal camera compared to and corrected by the machine coordinates (e.g, the plan view coordinates from the calibration part build depicted in FIG J 2), The new image has no perspective distortion and the visible image and thermal image share the same perspective of a plan-view of the part with a same machine coordinates. With this same perspective and same machine coordinates, the visible images and thermal images captured layer by layer can be integrated and used to reconstruct the three dimensional quality models in accordance with various embodiments described herein,

[0052] FIG, 18 is an embodiment of a schematic of a system in which one or more of the various methods in the instant disclosure can be performed. An additive manufacturing machine (e.g. powder bed based) is provided with its components, feed stock material (metal powder), and operating parameters. Two cameras, C I (e.g. digital camera, including components (filters, optics, wiring, etc) configured to obtain images of the AM build process in visible image form) and C2 (e.g. digital camera, including components (filters, optics, wiring, etc.) configured to obtain images of the AM build process in thermal image form) are configured to the AM machine such that the cameras obtain digital images synchronized with respect to the AM build (e.g. iterativeiy, layer by layer, as feed stock is transformed into AM part build layer). The control system/computer is connected to CI, C2, and the AM machine, such that the control system is configured to communicate with these items and create a three dimensional volume quality model from the images obtained and translated via the computer processor, algorithms and related modules in accordance with one or more embodiments of the instant disclosure. The AM machine is configured to receive information concerning a "pre-designed AM part" and translate the pre-designed AM part into an "as-built AM Part". The as-built AM part has properties based on the build parameters that may or may not correspond with the pre-designed AM part. Non-destructive evaluation techniques can be utilized to confirm how closely the as-built AM part corresponds to the pre-designed AM part and/or confirm the presence and/or prevalence of defects. Some non-limiting examples of NDE include ultrasonic testing, x~ray testing, and computer tomography scanning. [0053] FIG. 19 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a volume quality model, depicting defects including drag, super elevation, and thermal features (cold spots) in the three dimensional AM part model,

[0054] FIG, 20 is perspective view of a pre-designed AM part that is a CAD design of an AM pari with features (defects) in the form of hollow-bodied cylinder shapes of varying diameters, where the metrics of the planned defects are outlined in the table on FIG. 20. This CAD model was used as an illustrative example (with corresponding details in FIGs.2Q~30) to depict how closely/accurately the VQM could identify corresponding defects/features (planned and/or as a function of the AM build process) in the data obtained with one or more embodiments of the instant disclosure. The planned cylindrical features/defects began between layer 100 and 105 of the AM part build.

[0055] FIG, 21 is a chart depicting the total length of drag (in mm) for each layer (layer # in the part buiid) for a total of around 370 layers. Beneath the chart are two photographs, depicting the AM part surface (before powder redistribution) and after powder re-distribution (corresponding with the drag circled on the above-chart between layer #1 10 and #1 15).

[0056] FIG. 22 is a chart depicting the super elevation area (in mm2) for each layer (layer # in the pari build) for the same AM Part build in this illustrative example, Beneath the chart are three photographs, depicting the AM part surface (before powder redistribution) and after powder re-distribution (corresponding with the super elevation circled on the above- chart between layer #130 and #135). The other images (B and C) correspond to super elevation observable after powder re-distribution, depicting portions of the AM part (superelevation points) that are poking through the powder deposited and corresponding to the next planned layer of AM buiid. [0057] FIG. 23 depicts the thermal features (cold spots) detected at different layers of the part build, showing comparative thermal maps of layers 4, 80, 108, 1 10, 122. 120, 133, and 164 of the additive manufacturing layers of the part build.

[0058] FIG, 24 is a close-up of the thermal map depicting thermal features of layer #108, where the arrow points to a location of interest/thermal feature (cold spot) identified with an embodiment of one or more of the present methods.

[0059] FIG. 25 is a close-up of the thermal map depicting thermal features of layer # 1 10, where the arrows point to a location of interest thermal feature (cold spot) identified with an embodiment of one or more of the present methods, where some locations include multiple cold spots {e.g. for larger defects in the build plan).

[0060] FIG. 26 is a close-up of the thermal map depicting thermal features of layer #1 12, depicting more thermal features (e.g. cold spots) as compared to layers #108 and #1 10, also depicting thermal features identified for some of the smaller planned defects in the AM part build and thermal defects identified for an entire large scale planned defect, as compared to multiple thermal features identified for a single planned defect in layer #1 10.

[0061 ] FIG. 27 is a close-up of the thermal map depicting thermal features of layer #320, depicting fewer thermal features as compared to layers #1 10 and #1 12, which is consistent with the iocation of the planned defects in the AM part.

[0062] FIG. 28 depicts a comparison of a perspective view of A: the three dimensional CAD Model (pre-designed AM part) and a perspective view of B: the three dimensional volume quality model obtained with one or more methods of the instant disclosure. As visually observed side-by-side, the VQM closely corresponds to the three dimensional CAD model, while the VQM identifies cold spots corresponding to the planned defects in the CAD model, the VQM also identities drag locations (depicted as striations along the various layers of the YQM) and super elevation points (e.g. several instances, generally coinciding with the locations of the larger planned defects),

[0063] FIG. 29 is a top view of an embodiment of the volume quality model obtained through one or more of the methods herein, compared to analytical results received by nondestructive evaluation using ultrasound on the as-build AM part. As shown, the embodiment of A: VQM corresponds closely to the both ultrasound images including B; the ultrasound internal amplitude and C: ultrasound time of flight

[0064] FIG. 30 is a top view of an embodiment of the VQM obtained in this example, as compared to analytical results received by non-destructive evaluation using computer tomography on the as-buiit AM part. As visually observed, (A) the VQM corresponds closely with (B) the CT of the AM part, images C and D are close-up views of the CT, depicting some additional finer details regarding the planned defects. With the comparison of A and B, the VQM corresponds closely to the NDE analysis (CT) on the as-built part,

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0065] Reference will now be made in detail to the accompanying drawings, which at least assist In illustrating various pertinent embodiments of the new technology provided for by the present disclosure.

[0066] Referring now to FIG l a, one embodiment of a method for creating three- dimensional volume quality models of additiveiy manufactured metal bodies is illustrated. In the illustrated method, metal bodies are additiveiy manufactured layer by layer ki a powder bed, according to a pre-designed three-dimensional CAD model. A first metal layer of a metal body is additiveiy manufactured (10) according to the three-dimensional CAD model. One or more digital image(s) of the first metal layer and/or the powder bed are obtained (20) concomitant and/or subsequent to the additiveiy manufacturing the layer step (30). The digital image(s) are processed (30) to detect and map potential manufacturing defects, and generate the peak temperature map, In the first metal layer. A two-dimensional contour of the first metal layer is generated (60) from the three-dimensional CAD model. The mapped defects and generated peak temperature map are integrated (65) into the two-dimensional contour. A first layer of a three-dimensional volume quality model of the metal body is created (70) based on the two-dimensional contour with detected defects and detected peak temperature map. The above steps are repeated (80) for each successive metal layer (i.e., for layers n=i, 2, , , , N) until the metal body is built and the three-dimensional volume quality model (VQM) is complete.

[0067] As mentioned above, one or more image(s) of the first metal layer and/or the powder bed are obtained (20) concomitant and/or subsequent to the additively manufacturing the layer step (10). In this regard, one or more Images of a metai layer and/or powder bed may be obtained after a metal layer is built, but before the next layer of powder is spread over that metal layer. Similarly, one or one or more images of may be obtained after the next layer of powder is spread on top of the metal layer. FIG. l b. is one embodiment of a digital image obtained after a metal layer is built, but before the next layer of powder is spread over that metal layer. FIG, l e is one embodiment of a digital image obtained after a layer of powder is spread, from right to left as shown, over the metai layer and powder bed. As can be seen in the embodiment of FIG. l c, the layer of powder is generally uniform and covers the metal layer completely. FIG, id is another embodiment of a digital image obtained after a layer of powder is spread, from right to left as shown, over the metal layer and powder bed. As can be seen in the embodiment of FIG. I d, crescent-shaped portions of the metal layer protrude above the top of the layer of powder (i.e., super-elevation). Furthermore, horizontal patterns of non-uniform powder distribution (i.e., drag) can be seen to the left of the crescent-shaped super-elevation points. [0068] in one embodiment, features such as defects, laser scan paths, dimensions, deviations, and/or temperatures may be combined to assess the quality of the metal body during or after a build, in one embodiment, the VQM may be examined in any desired plane and/or cross-section. In one embodiment, the VQM may be provided to an operator in realtime, allowing the operator to assess the additive manufacturing process as it progresses. 3n this regard, threshold defect values and associated alarms set may be set to alert the operator of problems in the additive manufacturing process. In another embodiment, threshold defect values may trigger an automatic termination of the additive manufacturing process. Thus, the VQM may allow rapid detection and diagnosis of problems with the additive manufacturing process, thereby saving time and materials.

[0069] As mentioned above, the three-dimensional volume quality model may include features such as defects in the metal body. These defects may include drag, super-elevation and/or non-uniform peak temperature distribution. As used herein, "drag" means a horizontai pattern of non-uniform powder distribution in a layer of powder due to distortion of the metal body. In one embodiment, drag may be caused by shrinkage of the metal body. Such shrinkage may be due to, for example, residual stress, or non-uniform heating of the metal body, in one embodiment, drag may be caused by super-eievation on the metal body. As used herein, "super-elevation" means a portion of a layer of an additively manufactured metai article wherein the portion extends above the intended height for that layer, in this regard, after a layer of powder is spread over the metal articles, super-elevation may protrude above the powder. As used herein, a "non-uniform peak temperature distribution" is a potential indication of defect due to a temperature deviation, for example, a high temperature deviation during a selectively melting step.

[0070] Referring now to FIG, 2a s one embodiment of a method for creating three- dimensional volume quality models based on detected drag defects is illustrated. In the illustrated embodiment, a first metai layer of a metal body may be additively manufactured. In this regard, the first layer of metal powder may be spread (1 10) in the form of a powder bed (e.g. and/or on a build plate/substrate). At least a portion of the metal powder may be selectively melted (120), thereby forming a melt pool of molten metal. The molten metal may be solidified (130) into the nth (e.g., the first) layer of the metal body. In one embodiment, then, the nth +1 (e.g., the second) layer of metal powder may be spread (140) in the form of a powder bed, thereby covering the first metal layer of the metal body with powder,

[0071] As used herein, "additive manufacturing" and the like means a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, in some embodiments, additive manufacturing includes building successive layers of a metai powder (e.g., an aluminum alloy powder) by depositing a feed stock powder (metal powder) and then selectively melted and/or sintered (e.g. with a laser or other heat source) to create, layer-by- layer, an AM product (e.g., an metal product, an aluminum alloy product, a titanium alloy product, a nickel alloy product). Additive build processes utilizing a powder feedstock that can employ one or more of the embodiments of the instant disclosure include: direct metal laser sintering (e.g. a powder bed fusion process used to make metal parts directly from metal powders without intermediate "green" or "brown" parts); directed energy deposition (e.g. an AM process in which focused thermal energy is used to fuse materials by melting as they are being deposited): powder bed fusion (e.g. an AM process in which thermal energy selectively fuses regions of a powder bed); or laser sintering (e.g., a powder bed fusion process used to produce objects from powdered materials using one or more lasers to selective fuse or melt the particles at the surface, layer by layer, in an enclosed chamber) to name a few. Some non- limiting examples of suitable additive manufacturing systems include the EOS1NT M 280 Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) additive manufacturing system, available from EOS GmbH (Robert-Siiriing-Ring 1 , 82152 railling/Munich, Germany). Other suitable additive manufacturing systems include Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) systems. Selective Laser Melting (SLM) systems, and Electron Beam Melting (EBM) systems, among others.

[0072] As shown in FIG. 2a s the nth (e.g., a first) digiiai image of at least a portion of the powder bed may be obtained (200), One embodiment of a digital image of the powder bed and at ieast a portion of the build platform is shown in FIG 5a. As used herein, a "digital image" is an image comprised of pixels. For example, pixels are the basic element of a digital image. Each pixel may have a specific intensity value associated with it. The specific intensity value of a pixel may indicate an electromagnetic characteristic (e.g., frequency of electromagnetic radiation, intensity of electromagnetic radiation, color, and/or appearance, among others) that is associated with that pixel. Intensity values may be limited to a discrete number of values. For example, for an 8 bit camera, the intensity values may be limited to all integers from 0 to 255 (i.e.8 bit has intensity vales limited to ali integers from 0 ~ (28-1)), It is noted that any type of camera can be used (e.g. 16 bit camera has intensity values limited to ail integers from 0-216- 1).

[0Q73] Turning back to FIG. 2a, the nth digital image may then be translated (300) into the nth binary image. As used herein, a "binary image" is a digital image comprised of binary pixeis. As used herein "binary pixels" are pixels whose intensity values are limited to one of two possibilities. In one embodiment, binary pixeis may be pixels whose intensity values are limited to the group consisting of 1 and 0, Binary pixeis may be referred to as "on- pixels" and "off-pixels". An "on-pixel" is a pixel whose intensity value Is 1 , e.g., a white pixel. An "off-pixel" is a pixel whose intensity value is 0, e.g., a black pixel. FIG. 5b is one example of a binary image produced by translating (300) the digital image of FIG. 5a, The illustrated binary image includes particles, some of which depict defects such as drag or super-elevation and some which are a result of white noise in the digital image, As used herein, a "particle" is a group of contiguous on-pixeis in a binary image,

[0074] Turning back to FIG. 2a, at least some of the non-drag particles (e.g., particles that depict super-elevation or are a result of white noise in the digital image) may be filtered (400) from the nth binary image,

[0075] The remaining particles In the nth binary image after the filtering step (400) may be identified (500) as drag particles, FIG, 5c is one example of a filtered binary image in which the particles have been identified (500) as drag particles. These Identified drag particles may be associated with the additive manufacturing step of spreading (140) the nth +1 layer of metal powder on the powder bed.

[0076] The identified drag particles in the nth binary image may he mapped (600), The mapping step (600) may include determining a location of each drag particle in the first binary image. In one embodiment, the location of a drag particle may be determined via the coordinates of the pixels that make up the particle. The mapping step (600) may include determining the size of each drag particle. The size of a drag particle may be measured via the total number of pixels that make up the drag particle. The mapping step (600) may include correlating the location and/or size of each drag particle to a respective location in the powder bed. In one embodiment, the coordinates of the drag particle in the binary image may ¬ be used in conjunction with one or more landmarks in the image, such as the building platform, in order to map the drag particle to a location in the powder bed and/or metal body. Thus, x, y spatial coordinates of the drag particle (e.g., relative to the building platform) may be determined. The z coordinate of the drag particle in the powder bed may be determined, for example, via the layer number of the powder layer and/or metal layer and knowledge of a pre-determined layer thickness. [0077] An nth layer of a three-dimensional volume quality model may then be created (700) based at least in part on the mapped drag particles. In one embodiment, a two- dimensional contour of the nth metal layer of the metal body may be generated from a predesigned three dimensional CAD (computer-aided design) model. Then, the location and/or size of each drag particle may be integrated into the two-dimensional contour. An nth layer of the three-dimensional volume quality model may then be created based at least in part on the integrated two-dimensional contour,

[0078] The above steps (120 through 700) may be repeated (800) until the metal body and its corresponding three-dimensional volume quality model are complete, in one embodiment, the three-dimensional volume quality model is created concomitantly with the metal body, in this regard, as the layers of the metal body are completed, corresponding layers of the three-dimensional volume quality model may be created, In another embodiment, the creation of the three-dimensional volume quality model is not begun until after the metal body is complete. In this regard, the digital images of each layer of the metal body may be obtained and digitally stored to be processed at a later time,

[0079] Turning now to FIG, 6, as an alternative or in addition to a three dimensional VQM of the drag, a time-series chart of the drag particles detected at each layer of metal powder (i.e., for layers n= l , 2, ... N) may be created, Specifically, a total number of on- pixels may be determined for the identified (500) drag particles detected at each layer of powder. Thus, the total number of on-pixeis comprising the drag particles of each filtered binary image may represent the total amount of drag detected at the respective layer of metal powder.

[0080] Referring now to FIG. 2b s one embodiment of translating (300) a digital image Into a binary image is illustrated, in the illustrated embodiment, the translating step (300) includes sub-steps (302-312). First, a global average intensity value of the pixels in the digital image is determined (302), As used herein, a "global average intensity value" means the average intensity value of all of the pixels of a digital image. Next, the specific intensity value of each pixel is compared to a global threshold value (e.g., 100). if the specific intensity of a pixel does not exceed the threshold value, the next pixel is compared, if the specific intensity of a pixel exceeds the threshold value, then that specific intensity value is replaced (304) with the global average intensity value, Next, a local average intensity value may be determined (306) for each pixel. As used herein, a "local average intensity value" means the average intensity value of a portion of the pixels of a digital image. For example, a local average intensity value may be the average intensity value of the pixels with a 10 by 60 rectangle of pixels. Then, a background-corrected intensity value is determined for each pixel by subtracting (308) its specific intensity value from its local average intensity value. Next, the specific intensity value of each pixel is replaced (310) with its background- corrected intensity value. Then, a thresholding operation is performed (312) on the digital image, thereby creating a binary image. As used herein, a "thresholding operat ; on" means converting a digital image to a binary image based on each pixel's intensity value relative to other pixels in the image. In one embodiment, the thresholding operation is an mterciass variance thresholding operation (i.e., "Otsu's method").

[0081] Referring now to FIG. 2c, one embodiment of filtering (400) non-drag particles from the binary image is illustrated. In the illustrated embodiment, the filtering step (400) includes sub-steps (402-414), First, an x-axis close operation may be performed (402) on the binary image. As used herein, an "x-axis close operation" means a dilation operation in only the x-axis of a digital image followed by an erosion operation in only the x-axis of the digital image. As used herein, a "dilation operation" means expanding (i.e., switching off-pixels to on-pixels at the edges of) the particles in a binary image. A dilation operation may use a structuring element (e.g., a 4x4 square of pixels) for expanding such particles. As used herein, an "erosion operation" means contracting (i.e., switching on-pixels to off-pixels at the edges of) the particles in a binary image, An erosion operation may use a structuring element for contracting such particles. All particles having a particle width below a threshold particle width (e.g., 75) may be removed (404) from the binary image. As used herein, "particle width" is the dimension of a partieie, measured in pixels, along the x axis of the binary image. As used herein, "removing particles" means switching aii on-pixels of the partieie to off-pixels. Ail particles having an elongation ratio below a threshold elongation ratio (e.g., 6) may be removed (406) from the binary image. As used herein, "particle elongation ratio" is the width of the particle divided by the particle height of the particle. As used herein, "particle height" is the dimension of a particle aiorsg the y axis of a binary image, A diiation operation may be performed (408) on the binary image. Next, each row of pixels is evaluated any on-pixels in a may be switched to off-pixels for a row if the row has either a number of on-pixels less than a threshold on-pixel number (e.g., 500), or a number of particles greater than a threshold particle number (e.g., 50), Thus, a filtered binary image may be produced.

[0082] Referring now to FIG. 3, one embodiment of a method for creating three- dimensional volume quality models based on detected super-elevation defects is illustrated. In the illustrated embodiment, a first metal layer of a metal body may be additiveiy manufactured, In this regard, the first layer of metal powder may be spread (1 10) on the powder bed. At least a portion of the metal powder may be selectively melted (120), thereby forming a melt pool of molten metal The molten metal may be solidified (130) into the nth (e.g., the first) layer of the metal body. Then, the nth +1 (e.g., the second) layer of metal powder may be spread (140) the on the powder bed, thereby covering the first metal layer of the metal body with powder. [0083] As shown in FIG, 3 5 the nth (e.g., a first) digital image of at least a portion of the powder bed may be obtained (200). As discussed above, one embodiment of a digital image of the powder bed and at least a portion of the build platform is shown irs FIG 5a,

[0084] The nth digital image of the powder bed may be first translated (350) into an nth primary binary image. The nth digital image of the powder bed may be second translated (360) into an nth alternate binary image. The first and second translating steps (350, 360) may each comprise different thresholding operations. Thus, the nth primary binary image may be a different Image than the nth alternate binary image. In one embodiment, the first translating step (350) comprises performing a predetermined thresholding opera t ion on the nth digital image. In one embodiment, the second translating step (360) may comprise performing a moment-preserving thresholding operation on the nth digital image, As used herein, a "predetermined thresholding operation" means converting a digital image to a binary image based on a predetermined pixel intensity threshold. As used herein, a "moment- preserving thresholding" means converting a digital image to a binary image, wherein the average and the variance of the image intensity is preserved through the conversion process.

[0085] At least some of the non-super-elevation particles (e.g., particles that depict drag or are a result of white noise in the digital image) may be filtered (370) from the nth alternate binary image. The filtering step (370) may comprise removing from the nth alternate binary image all particles having a number of on-pixels less than a threshold number of on pixels (e.g., 200). Thus, an nth filtered binary image may he produced,

[0086] The nth primary binary image may be multiplied (450) with the nth filtered binary image, thereby creating an nth multiplied binary image. As used herein, "multiplying a first binary image with a second binary image" means multiplying the intensity value of each pixel in the first binary image with the intensity value of the pixel in the corresponding location in second binary image, thereby producing a third binary image. Thus, any on-pixel in the first binary image will be switched to an off-pixei in the third binary image unless the corresponding pixel in the second image is also an on-pixel,

[0087] The particles in the nth multiplied binary image may be identified (550) as superelevation particles, FIG, 5d is one example of a multiplied binary image in which the particles have been identified (550) as super-elevation particles. These identified superelevation particles may be associated with the additive manufacturing step of selectively melting ( 120) the metal powder.

[0088] The identified super-elevation particles in the nth multiplied binary image may be mapped (650), The mapping step (650) may include determining a location of each superelevation particle in the nth multiplied binary Image. In one embodiment, the location of a super-elevation particle may be determined via the coordinates of the pixels that make up that particle. The mapping step (650) may include determining the size of each super-elevation particle, The size of a super-elevation particle may be measured via the total number of pixels that make up the super-elevation particle. The mapping step (650) may include correlating the location and/or size of each super-elevation particle to a respective location in the powder bed. In one embodiment, the coordinates of the super-elevation particle in the binary image may be used in conjunction with one or more landmarks in the image, such as the building platform, in order to map the super-elevation particle to a location in the powder bed and/or metal body, Thus, x, y spatial coordinates of the super-elevation particle (e.g., relative to the building platform) may be determined. The z coordinate of the super-elevation particle in the powder bed may be determined, for example, via the layer number of the powder layer and/or metal layer and knowledge of a pre-determmed layer thickness,

[0089] An nth layer of a three-dimensional volume quality model may then be created (750) based at least in part on the mapped super-elevation particles. In one embodiment, a two-dimensional contour of the nth metal layer of the metal body may be generated from a pre-designed three dimensional CAD (computer-aided design) model Then, the location and/or size of each super-elevation particle may be integrated into the two-dimensional contour. An nth layer of the three-dimensional volume quality model may then be created based at least in part on the integrated two-dimensional contour.

[0090] The above steps (120 through 750) may be repeated (800) until the metal body and its corresponding three-dimensional volume quality model are complete,

[0091] Referring now to FIG. 7, as an alternative or in addition to a three dimensional VQM of the super-elevation, a time-series chart of the super-elevation particles detected at each metal layer (i.e., for layers n=l s 2, , , , ) may be created. Specifically, a total number of on-pixels may be determined for the identified (550) super-elevation particles detected at each metal layer. Thus, the total number of on-pixels comprising the super-elevation particles of each multiplied binary image may represent the total amount of super-elevation detected at the respective layer of metal powder.

[0092] Referring now to FIG. 4, one embodiment of a method for creating three- dimensional volume quality models based on generated peak temperature maps is illustrated. In the illustrated embodiment, a first metal layer of a metal body may be additiveiy manufactured, in tins regard, the first layer of metal powder may be spread (1 10) on the powder bed. At least a portion of the metal powder may be selectively melted (120), thereby forming a melt pool of molten metal. The moiten metal may be solidified (130) into the nth (e,g,, the first) layer of the metal body. Then, the nth -H (e.g., the second) layer of metal powder may be spread (140) the on the powder bed, thereby covering the first metal layer of the metal body with powder,

[0093] Concomitant to the selectively melting step ( 120), an nth (e.g., a first) sequential set of infrared images of the melt pool may be obtained (250). T he nth sequential set of infrared images may also inciude at ieast a portion of the powder bed d/o- the build platform. The nth sequential set of infrared images may be obtained, for example, via a digital video camera equipped with an optica! filter that passes only near-infrared (N1R) energy. As used herein an "infrared Image" is a digital image that depicts infrared radiation,

[0094] The specific intensity value of each pixel of each infrared image of the nth sequential set of infrared images may be correlated (660) to a temperature.

[0095] The peak temperatures in the nth sequential set of infrared images may be mapped (670), The mapping step (670) may Include determining a peak temperature point in each infrared image of the nth sequential set of infrared images. As used herein, a "peak temperature point" is the pixel of an infrared image that represents the highest temperature in that infrared image. The mapping step (670) may include determining the location of the peak temperature point in each infrared image of the nth sequential set of infrared images. The mapping step (670) may include correlating the location of each peak temperature point to a respective location on the first metal layer of the metal body, thereby creating a peak temperature map of the nth metal layer of the metal body. In one embodiment, the coordinates of the peak temperature point in the infrared Image may be used in conjunction with one or more landmarks in the image, such as the building platform and/or metal body itself in order to map the peak temperature point to a location on the metal body. Thus, x, y spatial coordinates of the peak temperature point (e.g., relative to the building platform and/or metal body) may be determined. The z coordinate of the peak temperature point in the powder bed may be determined, for example, via the layer number of the powder layer and/or metal layer and knowledge of a pre-determined layer thickness. FIG. 8a is an illustration of a peak temperature map of the nth metal layer of several metal bodies being additively manufactured concurrently in the same powder bed. FIG. 8b is a digital image of the nth metal layer of the metal bodies. [0096] An nth layer of a three-dimensional volume quality model may then be created (770) based at least in part on the mapped peak temperature points, in one embodiment, a two-dimensional contour of the nth metai layer of the metal body may be generated from a pre-designed three dimensional CAD (computer-aided design) model. Then, the location of each peak temperature point may be integrated into the two-dimensional contour. An nth layer of the three-dimensional volume quality model may then be created based at least in part on the integrated two-dimensional contour, FIG. 9a is an illustration of a peak temperature map of the nth metal layer of a metal body, FIG, 9b is a digital image of the nth metal layer of the metal body, FIG. 9c is an illustration of a two-dimensional contour of the nth metal layer of the metai body of FIG. 9a in which the peak temperature points have been integrated onto the two-dimensional contour.

[0097] The above steps (120 through 770) may be repeated (870) until the metal body and its corresponding three-dimensional volume quality model are complete. The VQM of the metal body based on the peak temperature points may facilitate detection and mapping of non-uniform temperature distribution, voids in the metal body, porosity, lack of fusion, and/or potential deiamination of layers within the metal, among others, In another embodiment, the nth sequential set of infrared images may be analyzed in order to determine one or more of cooling rate, molten pool size, and/or heat transfer characteristics,

[0098] The above features (e.g., drag detection, super-elevation detection, and/or peak temperature mapping) may be combined into a single three-dimensional volume quality model, FIG, 10 is a schematic of one embodimen of a method of creating a volume quality model in which drag detection, super-elevation detection, and thermal features (e.g. peak temperature mapping) is combined to produce the volume quality model, Thus, the metal body may be visualized, via computer display, with potential drag defects, super-elevation defects and/or non-uniform peak temperature distribution from the 2D data coiiection overlaid on the model,

[0099] in some embodiments, the VQM is provided in a feedback viewable by an AM operator (or as an input into an AM control system/computer processor) such that an AM build can be aborted based on the partial VQM (corresponding to the partial AM build) in instances where the VQM identifies defects that are significant and cannot be corrected with changes in the AM build parameters. In some embodiments, the VQM model is configured to provide a yellow-flag or red-flag alert to the control system and/or user in instances where a defect is noted (not necessarily resulting in a "fail" part) vs. a significant defect is noted (e.g. resulting in a part that fails the specifications for that particular part application).

[00100] In one embodiment, one or more of the cameras utilized to create the VQM are positioned different from the plan view of the AM part build (e.g. as viewed by the machine perspective). As such, the cameras have perspective distortion as compared to the machine perspective and to each other (visible vs. thermal cameras). In some embodiments, perspective distortion is due to the position and/or view angle of the digital camera,

[00101] In one or more embodiments of the instant disclosure, the camera(s) is/are calibrated to reduce and/or eliminate perspective distortion, such that the resulting VQM includes inputs (images) from the visible and thermal cameras that are corrected for perspective distortion and/or are readily eombinable with each other and/or with the AM machine perspective.

[00102] In one embodiment, a method of calibrating the AM system (with AM machine, visible camera, and thermal camera configured to create a three dimensional volume quality model) is provided. In one embodiment, the method includes: capturing with a camera successive images during AM build of a calibration build part (e.g. having a unique pattern including a plurality of readily identifiable features); thresholding the images with a processor to depict the part image only; adding threshoided images together with a processor to create an image of the entire calibration part build; obtaining the x,y coordinates/coordinate points of the calibration build pan (e.g. unique pattern and/or features of the calibration part build, i.e. corner points on a square calibration build pattern): extracting the x, y coordinates for the calibration build having the camera perspective; comparing the coordinates for the calibration build having the camera perspective with the machine coordinates; creating a correction factor with a processor including a perspective transformation matrix; correcting the camera perspective to a corrected camera perspective with the perspective transformation matrix to provide corrected camera coordinates compatible with the machine coordinates,

[00103] In some embodiments, the method further comprises integrating the corrected camera coordinates with the machine coordinates to provide one set of coordinates including information obtained from (filtered, extracted, and or processed form) the camera images.

[00104] In some embodiments, the obtaining step includes detecting the edge(s) of the calibration build part in the camera perspective view.

[00105] In some embodiments, an AM machine (configured to utilize powder-based AM techniques and processes) is configured with a thermal camera and a visible cameras are provided. For example, the thermal camera is configured from a digital CCD Gigabit Ethernet camera, along with a notch filter blocking the wavelength of the laser of the additive manufacturing machine, a near-infrared band-pass filter, and one neutral density filter. As another example, the visible camera is configured from a digital CCD Gigabit Ethernet camera, along with polarizer and focus lens, As the AM machine builds the calibration build pari having a speciiled pattern (e.g. of known dimensions) the cameras are calibrated according to one or more of the instant methods to a common coordinate system. The pattern of the calibration build part, of known dimensions, ailows the two camera system coordinate systems to be transformed to a common machine coordinate system. This allows ah of the systems (cameras and machine) to operate with a common coordinate system. Thus, the two cameras capture continuous images during the AM building process and are able to compile information indicative of defects or other features into a single machine coordinate system while also removing any perspective distortion in the camera images,

[00106] Thus, as a layer is built, the cameras are configured and synchronized to the additive machine such that calibrated (corrected) visible images and calibrated (corrected) thermal images are obtained. The visible and thermal images are processed via a processor for information (e.g. indicative of any defects) for a layer and the processed information is incorporated (processed) into a two dimensional file/map and saved to a registration list. Then, the registration list is compiled/processed to create a three dimensional volume quality model, which details the maps of any defects in any of the successive layers.

[00107] In some embodiments, the VQM is compared to the STL/cad model. In some embodiments, the VQM is compared to NDE analysis data.

[00108] in some embodiments, the VQM mode! is compared to analytical inspection results obtained by non-destructive evaluation methods (e.g. ultrasonic, x-ray, or CT inspection), to assist in interpreting the NDE results for defects.

[00109] In some embodiments, the VQM model is used in place of NDE analytical techniques to test a part and/or evaluate for defects, in situ, during the AM part build.

[001 10] In some embodiments, the method includes a visible camera perspective, in some embodiments, the method includes a thermal camera perspective.

[001 1 1 ] In some embodiments, one of the cameras is calibrated while the other camera is not calibrated and corrected.

[001 12] In some embodiments, both cameras are calibrated and corrected for their perspectives, where the thermal camera and visible camera are different from each other, and where each of the thermal camera and visible camera are configured with different perspectives (e.g. where each perspective is a distorted perspective) than the machine perspective of the AM build platform (machine perspective, undistorted),

[001 13] In some embodiments, the calibration method on a calibration part build is completed prior to the AM pari build, such that each of thermal camera perspective distortion and visible camera perspective distortion are corrected to provide uniform coordinates (e.g. integrated with the machine perspective into one set of coordinates), such that the cameras are calibrated to provide inputs readily processed via a processor to yield/create one or more embodiments of a three dimensional volume quality model in accordance with the instant disclosure, in this embodiment, the corrected perspective yields a corrected digital image (e.g. series of coordinates) such that the location of each image pixel is related to a respective location in the powder bed in a uniform matter for each camera.

[001 14] While reference is made to digital cameras, it is noted that the various embodiments can be completed with video cameras (a series of stills) and/or non-digital cameras (e.g. using film to capture the image).

[001 15] it is noted, with regard to the computer/control system (processor and/or memory) reference in FiG. I S and throughout the application, the computer includes any such computing device capable of sending and receiving information/messages (e.g. over a network, to and from other computing devices (e.g. servers, etc.). Computing devices include laptops, personal computers, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based systems, network PCs, and/or programmable consumer electronics (e.g. cameras). The computer/control system can be configured wirelessly or with wires to enable communication between components and/or other computing devices. Of note, one or more of the embodiments described herein may be implemented using any appropriate computer system hardware and/or computer system software. In this regard, those of ordinary skill in the art are well versed in the type of computer hardware that may be used (e.g. mainframe, mini-computer, personal computer, network (intranet and/or internet), the type of computer programming techniques that may be used (e.g. object oriented programming) and the type of computer programming languages that may be used (e.g. iab view. C++, Basic, AJAX, Javascript, etc.). The aforementioned examples are illustrative and not restrictive. While various embodiments of the present disclosure have been described in detail, it is apparent that modifications and adaptations of those embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. However, it is to be expressly understood that such modifications and adaptations are within the spirit and scope of the present disclosure.