Abstract

This paper presents the development of a method of three-dimensional laser cladding for Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF). A SFF system developed at SMU (SMU-SFF) is introduced which can build 3D metal parts by cladding metal powder delivered by a nozzle mounted coaxially to a Nd: YAG laser focusing head. An on-line slicing process that uses machine vision to measure the height of the part being built is also introduced as an effective means of optimizing the cladding process. Further, to explore the effects of the laser cladding parameters on the SFF results, machine vision with a high-speed shutter camera is utilized to observe the laser cladding process. The relationships between processing parameters (laser power, scan velocity) and cladding results are then discussed.

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