At the Rapid+TCT conference in September 2021, Greg Groth, the Division Manager at the Exact Metrology’s Brookfield, Wisconsin location, was part of a panel discussion entitled “3D Scanning: Why do it and how.”
He discussed Exact Metrology’s capabilities, with an emphasis on CT technology. Groth cited how CT scanning supplements additive technology. Many additive parts are complex and could be incorporated into a 3D scanning quality process to validate them.
Noted Groth, “There is a growing need for evaluation of additive parts once they are made. We are naïve to think that even though additive circumvents the traditional manufacturing restrictions (draft/shrink) when making parts, the end result part is not perfect.”
Due to the fact that additive parts can be complex, however, inspecting them is a challenge. Thanks to CT scanning, this has become easier.
Even though CT technology has helped capture internal geometry for additive manufacturing better than other methods, there are still limitations of material penetration. Part design should think about the way the part will be inspected, whether using contact or non-contact measurement techniques.
Depending on the complexity of the part, most additive substrates can be scanned using structured light or laser scanning. However, complex powered metal substrates are feasible for CT scanning if their material properties and scale don’t impede the penetration of the X-rays on the CT scanner. The denser the material, the more power is required.
Said Groth, “I think all additive markets can find value in the scanning and validation process. With the wide variety of scanning technology available, I don’t think any market is untouchable.”