Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level



Industrial Engineering


Harry Pierson

Committee Member

Haitao Liao

Second Committee Member

Sarah Nurre Pinkley

Third Committee Member

Zhenghui Sha


Additive Manufacturing, Process Efficiency, Quality Inspection


Additive manufacturing (AM) has been known for its ability of producing complex geometries in flexible production environments. In recent decades, it has attracted increasing attention and interest of different industrial sectors. However, there are still some technical challenges hindering the wide application of AM. One major barrier is the limited dimensional accuracy of AM produced parts, especially for industrial sectors such as aerospace and biomedical engineering, where high geometric accuracy is required. Nevertheless, traditional quality inspection techniques might not perform well due to the complexity and flexibility of AM fabricated parts. Another issue, which is brought up from the growing demand for large-scale 3D printing in these industry sectors, is the limited fabrication speed of AM processes. However, how to improve the fabrication efficiency without sacrificing the geometric quality is still a challenging problem that has not been well addressed. In this work, new geometric inspection methods are proposed for both offline and online inspection paradigms, and a layer-by-layer toolpath optimization model is proposed to further improve the fabrication efficiency of AM processes without degrading the resolution. First, a novel Location-Orientation-Shape (LOS) distribution derived from 3D scanning output is proposed to improve the offline inspection in detecting and distinguishing positional and dimensional non-conformities of features. Second, the online geometric inspection is improved by a multi-resolution alignment and inspection framework based on wavelet decomposition and design of experiments (DOE). The new framework is able to improve the alignment accuracy and to distinguish different sources of error based on the shape deviation of each layer. In addition, a quickest change point detection method is used to identify the layer where the earliest change of systematic deviation distribution occurs during the printing process. Third, to further improve the printing efficiency without sacrificing the quality of each layer, a toolpath allocation and scheduling optimization model is proposed based on a concurrent AM process that allows multiple extruders to work collaboratively on the same layer. For each perspective of improvements, numerical studies are provided to emphasize the theoretical and practical meanings of proposed methodologies.