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:
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