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3D printing
additive manufacturing

Quality inspection of complex 3D printing parts 

Initially solely useful for prototype and one-off manufacturing, 3D printing is now quickly evolving into a production technology. With its rapid rise, 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is expected to drastically alter every major business as well as the way future generations will live, work, and play. When compared to more traditional manufacturing processes, 3D printing (additive manufacturing) has the advantage of eliminating design constraints, enabling more flexibility for product development. However, 3D printing parts often contain internal cavities, and channels, or may have a high degree of roughness, thus checking their reliability is a must before market launch.
The aerospace, medical, and automotive industries are just a few that have seen significant manufacturing changes as a result of 3D printing technologies (often known as additive manufacturing). As 3D printing parts become more and more common and present in everyday objects, determining their quality is crucial. 

X-ray CT - see inside your 3D prints in a non-destructive way

The conventional approach to testing 3D printing parts is damaging and time-consuming as it requires cutting the part. With CT scanning, you can see inside your parts in a non-destructive way in one simple scan and inspect every detail about the internal and external structures, such as; defects, cracks, integrity issues, and assemblies... This way it guarantees product quality and saves costs by reducing errors before they even happen and most importantly before it reaches the final customer. 

Add full certainty about the reliability of 3D printed parts with X-ray CT

Manufacturers of the automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, or medical turn to 3D printing technology when they want to increase production efficiency, modify items, and shorten the time to market. These benefits, however, can only be attained by assuring constant quality. That's where X-ray CT comes through, by offering an internal view into 3D prints with fully digital workflows: it increases quality, allows you to understand the root reasons for product failure, propels sustainable process improvements, and establishes better standards for future manufacturing series. 

A recurring issue with 3D printed components is the lack of repeatability and reproducibility in the manufacturing process. Computed tomography contributes useful data to manufacturing process improvement. The use of Computed Tomography in the printing process is not limited to the manufactured product, it is also used at various scales: it is no longer a question of characterizing only the part but also taking control of the manufacturing process. Indeed, taking into account the greatest number of AM parameters with the goal of determining the optimum parameters to produce the best quality parts: from the powder to the final part. 

For  every step of the 3D printing lifecycle - from powder to material and quality inspection 

The use of computed tomography in the printing process is not limited to the manufactured product, it is also used at various scales: 
Powder inspection
The first thing that generally springs to mind when you think of 3D printing is a printer extruding material layer by layer - but this isn't the only way to manufacture anything in three dimensions. Powder 3D printing is another popular additive manufacturing technique, as it's the foundation of most 3D prints. Powders with homogeneous size and shape distribution will lead to homogeneous melting properties, thus best-quality parts. X-ray CT allows us to determine powder quality, with a detailed analysis of the particle shape, size, and volume distribution. 
For powder analyses, high resolution is required. Nano-computed tomography (or submicron tomography) provides a voxel resolution down to 0.3 microns by taking a close look at powder distribution such as their sphericity, grain size distribution, and the presence of internal porosities. 
Printed part inspection 
When a part has already been printed, whether it is to verify its reliability/quality before mass production or during the research and development phase, X-ray CT offers the possibility to rapidly go through all its details with: 
-  Defects and inner structure inspection
-  Material quality inspection
-  Dimensional and surface inspection

Get the 3D view into 3D printed parts with X-ray CT - Check 3D prints material integrity such as defects, cracks, and inclusions as well as dimensional aspects. Industrial CT scanning overcomes the challenge of reliability for 3D printed parts.