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Taking advantage of CT for large-scale Additive Manufacturing

Posted: 09/11/2022

Additive manufacturing at scale is in and of itself revolutionary. It encompasses multiple methods and technologies, from laser-induced techniques to large material welding, and gives manufacturers the ability to develop and fabricate from new materials that match the requirements of any given component.

At the same time, the advantages of automated inspection can’t be understated, and the utilization of 3D CT precision scanning for repeated, dependable, automated defect recognition may well be the evolution catalyst for many industries to fully enter the AM space.

In fact, automated defect recognition done via CT brings qualitative advantages to the QA/QC process that might not be immediately obvious. We like to say that “ADR” actually stands for Automated Deviation Recognition, because besides identifying flaws in the actual manufactured part, it can also help flag undesired changes in the manufacturing process; for example, if unexpected material, say dust due to a manufacturing error, is embedded in the part. 3D CT will also identify misalignment of the scanning equipment itself.

Continuing advances in CT equipment advancements in recent years show that it will continue to evolve and be refined to meet the developing needs of handlers of CT for AM – from scanning speed to image accuracy, from labor intensity to operational efficiency.

In support of additive manufacturing at scale, ideally suppliers will leverage their expertise and develop and improve automated software algorithms that analyze defects using 3D instead of 2D data. There is demand for 2D technologies to grow into the 3D CT space – and who better to set new expectations for inspection than users of additive manufacturing and consumers of NDT CT themselves?

New Paradgm in Additive Manufacturing

Read about the benefits for Computed Tomography for Additive Manufacturing