Sigma Labs, Inc., a provider of quality assurance software, and Materialise, a leading provider of additive manufacturing (AM) software and services, have developed a breakthrough technology to enhance and advance metal additive manufacturing applications. The new platform combines the Materialise Control Platform and Sigma Labs’ PrintRite3D® sensor technology to allow users to identify and correct metal build issues in real-time. With added control over their unique processes, manufacturers can optimize metal AM processes for consistency and repeatability, key factors in scaling AM operations for serial production.
Metal additive manufacturing (AM) has become a more prominent tool in the manufacturing toolkit for companies in industries such as aerospace, medical device, automotive, and energy looking to introduce more localized, customizable production. However, a lack of process robustness and repeatability is preventing widespread serial production adoption, and the need for post-build inspection and quality assurance can result in higher costs when compared to traditional manufacturing methods. The new platform can be retrofitted to existing 3D printers to improve manufacturing processes or sold as an add-on to new metal AM machines.
Materialise Control Platform (MCP)
The Materialise Control Platform (MCP) is an embedded hardware solution that gives users more control over the additive manufacturing process. By combining the MCP with Sigma Labs’ PrintRite3D® sensor technology, the companies have created the ability to detect and correct quality issues in real time. This increases metal AM productivity and decreases scrap rates, allowing manufacturers to advance their operations and implement metal AM in serial production.
“The platform we’ve developed eliminates one of the most common roadblocks for manufacturers interested in using metal additive manufacturing for serial production. The platform is open and flexible allowing manufacturers to take control of their specific processes to fit their unique applications. This makes it possible for customers to leverage their expertise and truly take advantage of the customization and localization benefits that AM provides.”– Bart van der Schueren, CTO, Materialise
Materialise and Sigma Labs will work with end-users and machine manufacturers to refine processes for their specific applications in addition to the platform. The companies are looking for partners from a variety of industries who are interested in expanding their use of metal additive manufacturing in serial production.
Mark Ruport, President and CEO of Sigma Labs, stated, “I am very pleased with our long relationship with Materialise and the close collaboration between our engineering teams. We believe the combination of the Materialise Control Platform with Sigma’s real-time melt pool monitoring, and analytics software has created a significant breakthrough in the additive manufacturing industry. I look forward to future opportunities to collaborate and find ways to continue to improve the quality and consistency of 3D metal printing as more companies go into production in the coming years.”
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