Sigma Labs, Inc., a provider of quality assurance software under the PrintRite3D brand, announced it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST and Sigma will study the effects of recycled powder and part placement on process variability and part quality in metal additive manufacturing applications using Sigma’s PrintRite3D technology.
The study will be the first of its kind to characterize the use of recycled powder in the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) process using both in-situ monitoring technology and post process mechanical property characterization. This research is vitally important to the global metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) community because changes in powder characteristics and chemistry may impact the build process and resulting part quality. This collaboration represents an important step forward in providing a much-awaited technical solution and understanding of powder reuse and its implicit cost savings. The results from this study will be disseminated to the AM community through journal articles while the in-situ and ex-situ data will be made available via the NIST AM Material Database.
During this study, Sigma’s In-Process Quality Assurance PrintRite3D INSPECT software will play a key role in quantifying process variability and part quality using its proprietary Thermal Energy Density (TED) In Process Quality Metric, an industry first for quantitatively measuring melt pool variation and part quality.
“Using our PrintRite3D technology will enhance NIST’s interlaboratory round-robin studies to provide much needed and currently unavailable scientific in-situ data on the impacts that different build layouts or recycled powder have on the LPBF AM process and its variability,” said Mark Cola, President and Chief Technology Officer at Sigma Labs. “With this knowledge, we can help to improve the efficiency and reliability of the process so that the AM community can take full advantage of its desirable material and cost savings.”
Sigma Labs, Inc.