Sigma Labs has announced that leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, and the provider of quality assurance software will work together to complete a Test and Evaluation program.
Both Sigma Labs and Airbus will work on completing a Test and Evaluation program of the former's new Printrite 3D version 5.0 hardware and software, which will be followed by a validation phase on a powdered fusion printer.
Under the Test and Evaluation program, Sigma Labs says it will provide comprehensive Printrite 3D In-Process Quality Assurance (IPQA) system and services. This includes hardware, software, training, engineering and metallurgical consulting as well as support services, which will demonstrate the ability to monitor and characterise material, machine processes and production consistency as well as the repeatability of additive manufacturing operations.
Sigma Lab's Chairman and CEO John Rice said: “We are honoured and indeed feel very privileged to have our In-Process Quality Assurance tools as well as engineering staff engaged with Airbus.” Rice added that Printrite 3D Inspect 5.0 provides the market with user-friendly experience to rapidly qualify an AM metal machine for serial production, and then, in the course of continuous production runs, to be able to warn process engineers of ‘signature’ precursors of process discontinuities and thus enable them to extract actionable data to restore the process.
The Test and Evaluation program will demonstrate the power of Printrite 3D Inspect 5.0 and reveal the value-add of implementing IPQA to ensure process quality by identifying process defect thermal signatures.
The application and growth of additive manufacturing in the aircraft industry continues to advance. Process qualification is critical to increasing and assuring quality, reducing waste and raising quality yields. Printrite 3D is said to provides process knowledge and understanding about melt pool dynamics that can lead to improved process consistency and a broader scope of applications for additive manufacturing.