You will be positioned at our office in Sint-Denijs-Westrem, we develop the Materialise Control Platform, a software-driven, embedded hardware solution that allows you to take full control of laser-based AM machines.
Thesis subject: parameter estimator of a laser and scan head controller in a 3D printer
Scan heads are used for laser control. They consist out of two galvanometers; one for movement in the x-direction and one for movement in the y-direction (see figure). An incoming laser beam enters the scan head through an entrance aperture. It is deflected by the first reflecting mirror (the mirror for the x-direction in the figure) and irradiates onto the second mirror (y-direction) which on his turn also deflects the laser beam. The mirrors are attached to galvanometers that can rotate around a certain axis. This way the laser beam is projected onto an image plane, which is the build platform in the case of an additive manufacturing machine. A single galvanometer can only deflect a laser beam along a line in the image plane and over a certain restricted angle (±5° to ±10°). This angle restriction is what defines the maximum size of a scan field.
A laser is typically commanded with a power input (analog signal / FM signal / PWM signal) and a gate signal (digital) as an enable of the power output.
To obtain the maximum accuracy in AM, the laser must be synchronized with the scan head movement. So the dynamics of the scan head in combination with the laser delay (switching on and off) are defined in some control parameters that make it possible to engage the laser at the correct scan head position and set the correct energy while moving (scanner speed and laser power).
Qualifications & Experience
- Your goal is to use a camera on the 3D printer in combination with a software control algorithm should lead to an automatic definition of the scanning control parameters that are needed to get the highest scan accuracy independent of the scan speed.
- You will need to do an investigation to verify what cameras can be used, the accuracy that can be reached and what accuracy is needed.
- You will also need to define algorithms to extract the parameters and you have to programme it on the Materialise Control Platform. A validation will be needed by printing some test cases on a 3D printer.
- You are an Industrial Engineering student: Electronics – ICT or mechanical engineering - electrical engineering
- You are in need of an incredibly interesting and challenging thesis subject;
- You have a passion for control engineering, software and mathematics;
- You are interested in the world of additive manufacturing;
- Please mention the thesis subject(s) of your interest when applying as subject
We offer an inspiring and challenging job with growth potential in an innovative market. You will be part of a dedicated team within a dynamic company that highly values openness, trust and team spirit.