Machine learning for metal additive manufacturing: predicting temperature and melt pool fluid dynamics using physics-informed neural networks

Qiming Zhu, Zeliang Liu, Jinhui Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent explosion of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) shows great potential in the breakthrough of metal additive manufacturing (AM) process modeling, which is an indispensable step to derive the process-structure-property relationship. However, the success of conventional machine learning tools in data science is primarily attributed to the unprecedented large amount of labeled data-sets (big data), which can be either obtained by experiments or first-principle simulations. Unfortunately, these labeled data-sets are expensive to obtain in AM due to the high expense of the AM experiments and prohibitive computational cost of high-fidelity simulations, hindering the direct applications of big-data based ML tools to metal AM problems. To fully exploit the power of machine learning for metal AM while alleviating the dependence on “big data”, we put forth a physics-informed neural network (PINN) framework that fuses both data and first physical principles, including conservation laws of momentum, mass, and energy, into the neural network to inform the learning processes. To the best knowledge of the authors, this is the first application of physics-informed deep learning to three dimensional AM processes modeling. Besides, we propose a hard-type approach for Dirichlet boundary conditions (BCs) based on a Heaviside function, which can not only exactly enforce the BCs but also accelerate the learning process. The PINN framework is applied to two representative metal manufacturing problems, including the 2018 NIST AM-Benchmark test series. We carefully assess the performance of the PINN model by comparing the predictions with available experimental data and high-fidelity simulation results, using finite element based variational multi-scale formulation method. The investigations show that the PINN, owed to the additional physical knowledge, can accurately predict the temperature and melt pool dynamics during metal AM processes with only a moderate amount of labeled data-sets. The foray of PINN to metal AM shows the great potential of physics-informed deep learning for broader applications to advanced manufacturing. All the data-sets and the PINN code will be made open-sourced in once the paper is published.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-635
Number of pages17
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Additive manufacturing
  • CFD
  • Thermal multiphase flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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