Darragh Egan is a PhD researcher based at UCD, working in the area of selective laser melting. He obtained his undergraduate degree in energy systems engineering from NUI Galway and then went on to complete a master’s in materials science and engineering at UCD. His main research interests are in the areas of metal additive manufacturing, in-process monitoring, porous structures and their combined use for medical applications.
Research Interests (Lay Summary)
Darragh started his PhD with I-Form in 2017, investigating the impact that different additive manufacturing process parameters have on part quality, particularly on titanium parts. Titanium is a metal that is frequently used in the medical device sector, in products like dental and orthopaedic implants (e.g. hip, knee, spinal). In researching the impact that different manufacturing process parameters (such as laser power, laser spot size, etc) have on the end product, and by using an in-situ process monitoring system, Darragh is attempting to better predict part quality as the build process is ongoing. This means that corrective action can be taken on the spot, rather than having the process continue and potentially result in a defective part being formed.
The aim of Darragh’s research is to gain an understanding into how different process parameters influence the properties of non-stochastic cellular structures, fabricated using an advanced method of metal additive manufacturing. Understanding the effect that process parameters have on the mechanical, topological and microstructural properties of these types of structures is crucial if additive manufacturing (AM) users want to produce these types of structures with adequate properties.
In conjunction with this, the influence of process parameters on the data generated during the build process, by an in-situ process monitoring system, is also being assessed. Process monitoring is seen as a necessary method to increase quality assurance of AM-made parts in industry; however, the current knowledge regarding such systems, and their application, is limited. This research aims to gain an understanding into the relationship between process parameters, process monitoring data and the quality of the resultant parts, with the aim of demonstrating how process monitoring can be used to detect defects within porous structures, in near-real-time. The overall objective is to demonstrate how process monitoring systems can be used to enhance the quality assurance of the selective laser melting process, when producing porous structures.