Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering has begun in-process inspection of additive manufactured parts using a customized digital radiology vault and specialized additive manufacturing (AM) systems designed by university researchers. The new system was acquired through a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded to Auburn’s Center for Additive Manufacturing.
A customized digital radiology vault from Pinnacle X-Ray Solutions accommodates AM machines, enabling 3D non-destructive interrogation of mission-critical metal parts and real-time process monitoring. Users can confirm internal dimensions of structures and assess finished part quality and the manufacturing process.
Bart Prorok, professor of materials engineering and principal investigator on the NIST grant says, “While we’re building a component with additive, it’s difficult to monitor what’s happening. With this new system, we can take two-dimensional X-ray pictures of a metal structure for real-time process monitoring or a series of 2D images in 360° of rotation that are then reconstructed into a 3D representation of the build.”
Metal AM components: $228 billion market
SmarTech Analysis predicts metal additive manufacturing (AM) will gradually develop more production-oriented business cases, generating up to $228 billion worth of components throughout the next decade. Driving factors include:
- Design for AM with designers consolidating assemblies into fewer parts which can only be produced by AM
- Efficiency, production-cost improvements of the individual technologies through scalable deployments, efficient material handling, and post-processing
Across all technologies, markets, and applications, production costs are expected to fall 40% on average per-part by the end of the forecast period.
AM polymer specifications for aerospace industry
SAE Int’l’s additive manufacturing (AM) polymer specifications for the aerospace industry – AMS7100: Fuse Filament Fabrication Process and AMS7101: Material for Fused Filament Fabrication – represent the first specifications released under the AMS-AM Additive Manufacturing Non-Metallic (AMS-AM-P) committee.
AMS7100 establishes critical controls and requirements to produce reliable, repeatable, reproducible aerospace parts by fused deposition modeling (FDM) or other material extrusion processes. It covers machine configuration, operating software, machine calibration, machine/build parameters, and testing methodology required to create certified AM aerospace parts.
AMS7101 outlines technical information, production guidelines, and documentation requirements for FDM material manufacturer.
PolyJet 3D printer
The full-color, multi-material PolyJet J850 3D printer boosts material capacity and print speed, shortening overall modeling time up to 50%.
High-speed mode allows more time for part refinement by printing concept models 2x faster. In addition, the J850’s larger, seven-material capacity allows designers to print a full range of color, transparency, and flexibility combinations in a single part.
Supported by GrabCAD Print software, the J850 can 3D print directly from any CAD format instead of converting STL files.