A review on machine learning in 3D printing: applications, potential, and challenges

Abstract

Additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing is growing rapidly in the manufacturing industry and has gained a lot of attention from various fields owing to its ability to fabricate parts with complex features. The reliability of the 3D printed parts has been the focus of the researchers to realize AM as an end-part production tool. Machine learning (ML) has been applied in various aspects of AM to improve the whole design and manufacturing workflow especially in the era of industry 4.0. In this review article, various types of ML techniques are first introduced. It is then followed by the discussion on their use in various aspects of AM such as design for 3D printing, material tuning, process optimization, in situ monitoring, cloud service, and cybersecurity. Potential applications in the biomedical, tissue engineering and building and construction will be highlighted. The challenges faced by ML in AM such as computational cost, standards for qualification and data acquisition techniques will also be discussed. In the authors’ perspective, in situ monitoring of AM processes will significantly benefit from the object detection ability of ML. As a large data set is crucial for ML, data sharing of AM would enable faster adoption of ML in AM. Standards for the shared data are needed to facilitate easy sharing of data. The use of ML in AM will become more mature and widely adopted as better data acquisition techniques and more powerful computer chips for ML are developed.

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Acknowledgements

This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore under its Medium-Sized Centre funding scheme.

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Goh, G.D., Sing, S.L. & Yeong, W.Y. A review on machine learning in 3D printing: applications, potential, and challenges. Artif Intell Rev 54, 63–94 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10462-020-09876-9

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Keywords

  • Machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • 3D printing
  • In-situ monitoring
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Process optimization