Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Industrial Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


College of Engineering


Xuan Wang

Advisor Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) remains a predominately open-loop additive manufacturing process with minimal in-situ quality and process control. Some machines feature optical monitoring systems but lack automated analytical capabilities for real-time defect detection. Recent advances in machine learning (ML) and convolutional neural networks (CNN) present compelling solutions to analyze images in real-time and to develop in-situ monitoring.

Approximately 30,000 selective laser melting (SLM) build images from 31 previous builds are gathered and labeled as either “okay” or “defect”. Then, 14 open-sourced CNN were trained using transfer learning to classify the SLM build images. These models were evaluated by F1 score and down selected to the top 3 models. The top 3 models were then retrained and evaluated using Dietterich’s 5x2 cross-validation and compared with pairwise student t-tests. The pairwise t-test results show no statistically significant difference in performance between VGG- 19, Xception, and InceptionResNet. All models are strong candidates for future development and refinement.

Additional work addresses the entire model development process and establishes a foundation for future work. Collaborations with computer science students has produced an image pre-processing program to enhance as-taken SLM images. Other outcomes include initial work to overlay CAD layer images and preliminary hardware integration plan for the SLM machine. The results from this work have demonstrated the potential of an optical layer-wise image defect detection system when paired with a CNN.