Metal AM Materialise and Sigma Labs develop breakthrough technology to advance Metal Additive Manufacturing
3D printing companies Sigma Labs and Materialise have developed a breakthrough technology to enhance the scalability of metal AM applications. The new platform combines the Materialise Control Platform and Sigma Labs’ Print Rite 3D sensor technology to allow users to identify and correct metal build issues in real-time.
Metal AM has become a more prominent piece in the manufacturing toolkit for companies in industries such as aerospace, medical device, automotive and energy to introduce more localised, customisable production. However, a lack of process robustness and repeatability is holding back broader adoption for serial production, and the need for post-build inspection and quality assurance can result in higher costs when compared to traditional manufacturing methods. A new platform developed by Sigma Labs and Materialise can be retrofitted to existing 3D printers to improve manufacturing processes or offered as an add-on to new machines for metal AM.
The Materialise Control Platform (MCP) is an embedded hardware solution that provides end-users more control over the AM process. By integrating the MCP with Sigma Labs’ Print Rite 3D sensor technology, the companies have created the possibility to identify quality issues and intervene to correct them in real time. This improves the productivity in metal AM and reduces scrap rates, paving the way for manufacturers to advance their operations and implement metal AM in serial production.
According to Materialise CTO Bart van der Schueren, the platform 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.”
In addition to the platform, the companies want to collaborate with end-users and machine producers to refine processes for their unique applications. They are seeking partners across industries who are interested in expanding their use of metal AM in serial production.