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PrintRite3D® alerts for Anomaly Detection

Executive Summary

Sigma Labs’ PrintRite3D software provides additive manufacturers a vital tool to allow them to better understand production issues when they arise. Rather than giving results after the fact like conventional, expensive destructive and non-destructive inspection methods, PrintRite3D® immediately and in real time:

  • Alerts engineers to anomalies in the additive manufacturing process;
  • Describes the nature of the defects and the corrective actions needed;
  • Allows rapid and detailed investigation and adjustment of problems, not merely indicating their existence;
  • Saves time, money and minimizes material waste as a result of the alert.

The PrintRite3D® software does this by creating In-Process Quality Metrics (IPQMs™) by direct observation of the build process. These IPQMs allow interpretation of why issues arise beyond the simple indication of their existence.

Metal Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses high-power lasers to fuse metallic powders into a desired shape. It is a rapidly growing market and many companies are incorporating additive manufactured metal parts in greater numbers. It offers lower costs compared to traditional machining for complex geometries, especially for difficult to machine materials. There are also many part configurations that can be additively manufactured that would be impossible to manufacture using traditional machining methods.

In the experiment described in this case study, rocket nozzles with intentional defects were constructed while under observation using Sigma Labs PrintRite3D®. Anomalies were detected automatically, and alerts were sent to machine operators. These alerts accurately described the nature of the defect and the corrective action needed. Waste cost analysis was also performed comparing different additive manufacturing quality control strategies. Immediate action based on PrintRite3D® IPQM alerts minimized waste compared to other methods.

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