3D Printing of a Leaf Spring: A Demonstration of Closed-Loop Control in Additive Manufacturing

Kevin Garanger, Thanakorn Khamvilai, Eric Feron1

  • 1Georgia Institute of Technology



Regular Session


16:00 - 18:00 | Wed 22 Aug | Fredensborg | WeC3

Manufacturing Systems and Processes

Full Text


A feedback control loop is integrated during the printing of a plastic object using additive manufacturing. The printed object is a leaf spring made of several parts of different infill density values, which are the control variables in this problem. In order to achieve a desired objective stiffness, measurements are taken after each part is completed and the infill density is adjusted accordingly in a closed-loop framework. The absolute error in the stiffness at the end of printing is reduced from 11.63% to 1.34% by using a closed-loop instead of an open-loop control. This experiments serves as a proof of concept to show the relevance of using feedback control in additive manufacturing. By considering the printing process and the measurements as stochastic processes, we show how stochastic optimal control and Kalman filtering can be used to improve the quality of objects manufactured with rudimentary printers.

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