Topic Track: Quality
Session Topic: Enabling Yield Improvement

in 3D Printing Process Chain Since the first pioneering companies have been able to shape metal powders by means of 3D printing or melting, more companies want to supplement their conventional production processes with additive methods. How quickly and comprehensively additive manufacturing (AM) of metal parts will be established depends, to a large extent, on the yield.

The 3D printing industry is far from guaranteeing the high reproducibility and reliability known from traditional manufacturing processes. AM has only a fraction of the combined know-how of conventional subtractive methods. Therefore, it requires a lot of investigation within every step of the process chain to enable optimal part printing. Gaining this process knowledge might take several years, but the number of iteration loops can be significantly reduced with detailed analysis of materials and processes. It takes significant experience combined with unique technology to allow for a deeper understanding and detailed monitoring of most process steps, such as material powder characterization, i. e., powder size, form, as well as distribution and compactness analysis, crystallographic analysis, build defects, internal and external surface analysis, internal and external dimensional analysis, and the influence of post-build treatments, such as heat treatment. Each step can have a significant impact on the overall yield, therefore, correlating information throughout the process significantly improves overall part performance and reduces optimal recipe development time.

Zeiss is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the optics and optoelectronics industries. The Industrial Metrology business group is a leader in CNC coordinate measuring machines and complete solutions for multidimensional metrology in the metrology lab and production. The Microscopy business group is the world’s only one-stop manufacturer of light, X-ray, and electron microscope systems with a portfolio that includes solutions for materials research and industry.

IMTS 2018 Booth #135502 & #135655 (Zeiss X-Ray Systems)