26102020 1603708368

Additive Manufacturing (AM) embodies a distinct approach to manufacturing that may revolutionize the industry. Rather than subtracting material from the workpiece, AM machines typically build products from the bottom up by adding material in a layer-by-layer fashion. In particular cases, this additive approach alleviates the traditional manufacturing restrictions on product geometry and facilitates enhanced product functionality and performance. Vat photopolymerization, also known as Stereolithography, is a class of AM techniques that stands out due to small feature sizes and high build speeds. This AM technique solidifies layers of photocurable resin with UV light according to the part’s cross-sectional geometry. By mixing the photopolymer resin with sinterable powder, vat photopolymerization can be used as the shape forming step in an indirect production method for ceramic or metallic parts. Although vat photopolymerization is a promising AM technology, manufacturing near-net shape parts from high-performance ceramic materials is challenging. To meet the high tech industry’s needs, AM equipment has to scale up to larger product sizes and has to consistently build parts of high quality by becoming robust to uncertainty in the machine, the material, and the process. These challenges motivate a mechatronic systems engineering approach towards AM equipment development. This thesis takes the mechatronic systems stand-of-view, and investigates novel methods to improve the print quality and robustness of AM technology. In particular, closed-loop control system architectures are developed for future integration into vat photopolymerization equipment.

Download Thesis