Home Research & Education Phase3D presents real-time monitoring in additive manufacturing

Phase3D presents real-time monitoring in additive manufacturing

For the first time, Phase3D was able to correlate measurable anomalies in the metal powder bed process with defects in the final part in real time. This work was performed for the US Air Force and NASA and validated with two different materials on different laser powder bed fusion machines. This represents a significant step towards ensuring build quality and reliability, a challenge that all industries face when adopting AM.

Working closely with the US Air Force and NASA, Phase3D developed the Fringe Research product, an in-situ monitoring system that measures each layer of a powder-based AM build with micrometer accuracy. The system automatically identifies anomalies in the build process to improve the AM process. Phase3D leverages its expertise in repeatable, calibrated and unit-based measurement and analysis.

Fringe Research is the first inspection system for AM that measures anomalies during construction that lead to porosity – a major reason for part rejection in the US Air Force and NASA. The system can be used on most powder-based AM systems and uses structured light, a proven measurement technology, to create the measurements needed for this correlation.

For the US Air Force, Ti64 samples were printed on an EOS M290, while for NASA, GRCop-42 was used on a Colibrium Additive (formerly GE Additive) M2. During the build process, Fringe Research automatically identified anomalies such as hops and streaks, which were later correlated with porosity in the final part. Parts were CT scanned and correlation was performed in Fringe Research and commercial CT inspection software.

“Providing our customers a high correlation of measurable build anomalies to part defects is changing what is possible for AM,” says Niall O’Dowd, Founder and CEO of Phase3D. “Our customers continue to request objective data that can identify part defects when they occur. With the data Fringe Research collects, we predict our aerospace customers will be able to increase machine throughput by more than 10% every year by stopping parts that will fail inspection early.”

Phase3D will present the correlation data for the US Air Force and NASA during RAPID + TCT 2024 in Los Angeles, California, June 25-27, 2024. Visitors can find the team at booth 1063.

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