Toward the digital twin of additive manufacturing: Integrating thermal simulations, sensing, and analytics to detect process faults

Aniruddha Gaikwad, Reza Yavari, Mohammad Montazeri, Kevin Cole, Linkan Bian, Prahalada Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The goal of this work is to achieve the defect-free production of parts made using Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes. As a step towards this goal, the objective is to detect flaws in AM parts during the process by combining predictions from a physical model (simulation) with in-situ sensor signatures in a machine learning framework. We hypothesize that flaws in AM parts are detected with significantly higher statistical fidelity (F-score) when both in-situ sensor data and theoretical predictions are pooled together in a machine learning model, compared to an approach that is based exclusively on machine learning of sensor data (black-box model) or physics-based predictions (white-box model). We test the hypothesized efficacy of such a gray-box model or digital twin approach in the context of the laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) and directed energy deposition (DED) AM processes. For example, in the DED process, we first predicted the instantaneous spatiotemporal distribution of temperature in a thin-wall titanium alloy part using a computational heat transfer model based on graph theory. Subsequently, we combined the preceding physics-derived thermal trends with in-situ temperature measurements obtained from a pyrometer in a readily implemented supervised machine learning framework (support vector machine). We demonstrate that the integration of temperature predictions from an ab initio heat transfer model and in-situ sensor data is capable of detecting flaws in the DED-produced thin-wall part with F-score approaching 90%. By contrast, the F-score decreases to nearly 80% when either temperature measurements from the in-situ sensor or temperature distribution predictions from the theoretical model are used alone by themselves. This work thus demonstrates an early foray into the digital twin paradigm for real-time process monitoring in AM via seamless integration of physics-based modeling (simulation), in-situ sensing, and data analytics (machine learning).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1204-1217
Number of pages14
JournalIISE Transactions
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Additive manufacturing
  • data analytics
  • digital twin
  • directed energy deposition
  • graph theory
  • laser powder bed fusion
  • machine learning
  • meltpool
  • overhang
  • photodetector
  • porosity
  • pyrometer
  • sensors
  • thermal camera
  • thermal simulations
  • thin-wall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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