Overheating control in additive manufacturing using a 3D topology optimization method and experimental validation

R. Ranjan*, Z. Chen, C. Ayas, M. Langelaar, F. Van Keulen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Overheating is a major issue especially in metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes, leading to poor surface quality, lack of dimensional precision, inferior performance and/or build failures. A 3D density-based topology optimization (TO) method is presented which addresses the issue of local overheating during metal AM. This is achieved by integrating a simplified AM thermal model and a thermal constraint within the optimization loop. The simplified model, recently presented in literature, offers significant computational gains while preserving the ability of overheating detection. The novel thermal constraint ensures that the overheating risk of optimized designs is reduced. This is fundamentally different from commonly used geometry-based TO methods which impose a geometric constraint on overhangs. Instead, the proposed approach takes the process physics into account. The proposed method is validated via an experimental comparative study. Optical tomography (OT) is used for in-situ monitoring of process conditions during fabrication and obtained data is used for evaluation of overheating tendencies. The novel TO method is compared with two other methods: standard TO and TO with geometric overhang control. The experimental data reveals that the novel physics-based TO design experienced less overheating during the build as compared to the two classical designs. A study further investigated the correlation between overheating observed by high OT values and the defect of porosity. It shows that overheated regions indeed show higher defect of porosity. This suggests that geometry-based guidelines, although enhance printability, may not be sufficient for eliminating overheating issues and related defects. Instead, the proposed physics-based method is able to deliver efficient designs with reduced risk of overheating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103339
Number of pages17
JournalAdditive Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Hotspot reduction
  • Optical tomography
  • Overheating avoidance
  • Thermal modelling of L-PBF
  • Topology optimization


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