Control Module of Laser Metal Deposition Shaping System
The Laser Metal Deposition Shaping (LMDS) is a state-of-the-art technology which correlates the Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (RP&M) and laser processing. During this process, a certain alloy is fused onto the surface of a substrate. Laser deposition devices, namely powder feeder, CNC worktable, and laser shutter, are integrated to automatically make any cladding profile possible. Material is deposited by scanning the laser across a surface while injecting metallic powders into the molten pool at the laser focus. The metal part is then fabricated layer by layer. The LMDS system consists of four primary components: energy supply module, motion control module, powder delivery module, and computer control module. These modules of LMDS system individually perform the specified functions, but coordinate with each other. One of them, the control module plays an important role in causing the LMDS system automatic and intelligent. The control module can be divided into hardware and software components. The hardware structure mainly includes industrial computer, motors, and motion control card, which build the overall framework, and are driven by software structure. The software structure, namely the system application program with GUI, can instruct every module of LMDS system to finish the motion cooperatively adjust the processing parameters freely, and fulfill the LMDS technology automatically and intelligently. The hardware and software structures work in harmony with each other, thus flexibly controlling the LMDS system.
K. Zhang et al., "Control Module of Laser Metal Deposition Shaping System", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 480-481, pp. 644-649, 2011