Sigma Labs, Inc. (Santa Fe, NM), has launched Printrite3D Production Series with a ‘Production Dashboard’ to provide production managers with critical metrics, insight and actionable information during the production process. The launch comes at a time when many predict the use of 3D printing of metal parts will increase dramatically in response to COVID-19 and the effect of the pandemic on U.S. manufacturing, especially among manufacturers that rely on complex and lengthy supply chains.
3D printing is more agile and rapid in development and execution than traditional manufacturing methods and can be performed close to where the end product is needed, making it much more responsive in times of crisis. PrintRite3D Production Series enhances this speed and agility by truncating the design and development process and accelerating the 3D manufacturing machine qualification – it has the added advantage to remotely monitor production in real-time from anywhere in the world.
“Sigma Labs has a rich history of innovation,” said Mark K. Ruport, executive chairman of Sigma Labs. “PrintRite3D Production Series is the culmination of years of internal research and development and radical collaboration with our customers. We believe it will be seen as a major advancement for the additive manufacturing industry just as 3D printing of metal parts will be tested and challenged to fulfill the promise of being the next revolution in manufacturing.”
Sigma’s unique technology is machine agnostic and runs on most major brands of 3D metal printers. This allows for standardized quality assurance processes, even throughout a supply chain using 3D printers from different manufacturers.
Available now, PrintRite3D Production Series’s intuitive dashboard provides:
- Automated In-process Quality Metric (IPQM) based alerts that allow production managers to use custom metric thresholding for part and process quality decision making. In real time, the process engineer can know that the process was in control and the production manager can know the part yield predictive performance, ensuring maximum efficiency of the manufacturing process.
- IPQM trained with machine learning algorithms – using micro CT-based on standard additive defects – can identify and classify known porosity modes such as, Lack of Fusion, Key Hole, Spherical Porosity and Foreign Inclusions. The process engineer can begin to qualify and certify the IPQMp as a proxy for micro CT, thereby reducing the post-process measurement burden and monitor in real time the predictive defect modes.
- High resolution IPQM “medical grade” forensic analysis in 3D for process engineering part anomaly investigation provides a level of granularity during the build process that, until now, was unattainable. Using the Production Dashboard, the process engineer can begin continuous process improvement by virtue of forming a deeper understanding of the nature of 3D anomalous IPQM signature morphologies.
PrintRite3D Production Series can be utilized remotely by production managers and operators to monitor, analyze and intervene in real time production as required from any location around the globe.
“Bringing Sigma’s technology down to the manufacturing floor to be used by production managers to monitor the 3D printing process is a major step forward for the AM industry,” said Dr. Prveen Bidare, technical research officer in Hybrid Manufacturing at the University of Birmingham. “PrintRite3D Production Series addresses one of the critical barriers of the industrialization of additive manufacturing and puts highly sophisticated tools in the hands of the printer operators. Additionally, the fact that Sigma’s technology can be used today on 3D printers from multiple manufacturers to provide a consistent standard of quality assurance, allows manufacturers to deploy the technology throughout their supply chain.”
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