Production-grade AM gets quality boost

As the case for production-scale additive manufacturing builds, one sticky point is 3D-printed part consistency and quality, especially for highly regulated industries such as aerospace and defense. Yet advances in hardware monitoring systems and process control software, coupled with emerging innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and in-situ monitoring, are starting to mitigate persistent quality-related hurdles, clearing a path to more widespread additive manufacturing (AM) adoption.

Quality control is an issue with every manufacturing method, but AM has different and more challenging concerns. Unlike a traditional manufacturing process like computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling where material remains homogeneous throughout, AM simultaneously creates parts and materials. Therefore, parts made with traditional manufacturing methods are output with greater levels of consistency once certain material standards are established and verified. In comparison, AM is more susceptible to part and material variability given the dual function of the print run.

“With AM, you can test one geometry and get certain material parameters and then properly print a different part and get different material properties,” says Niall O’Dowd, founder and CEO of Phase3D, which markets a real-time inspection solution for quality control of 3D-printed parts. “Different orientation of parts in a build chamber, printing in different physical locations, even different people orchestrating a print job—those variables enter into material properties and part performance in ways that are complex and not well understood throughout the industry.”

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.