Compliant sensors for in-situ, layer-by-layer inspection of 3d metal printed parts

Additive manufacturing (AM) is the process of printing parts, sub-assemblies or entire products layer-by-layer from CAD models. AM gives industry new design flexibility, reduce energy use and shorten time to market.
The control, monitoring, and certification of the quality of the produced parts still present significant challenges that have to be overcome for a wider use of the technique. Citing the New York Times “But it’s not game over for traditional manufacturing. There are still challenges to additive manufacturing, like ensuring quality control. For instance, is a part reliable if there is a momentary fluctuation in laser power? How much of a fluctuation is OK? Standards and test methods have to be developed, which is difficult because 3-D printing is rapidly evolving and it’s hard for test methodology to keep up.”

Machine agnostic monitoring device

Adressing these issues, AMiquam provides in-situ solutions to assess the quality of metal parts manufactured by powder bed fusion.
Our unique autonomous electromagnetic systems deliver compliant information about the stability of the AM process, evolution of porosity, and about presence of defects in the parts.






















The information is collected layer by layer without affecting the machine productivity. We equip most of the additive manufacturing machines in the market with minimal impact and no wire interfaces. The product has been used with Al and Ti alloys as well as stainless steel, constantly increasing the number of materials used in metal AM. The data can also be used by third parties to generate NDT reports remotely. These reports are based on established ASMT and ISO standards and will save post processing inspection costs.

Actionable data

Our monitoring device delivers the typical data shown hereafter. This cross-section side view is collected in-situ, layer-by-layer, and in real time. This is an example of four 316L samples with different laser scan speeds (100% refers to the optimal speed). Varying the scan speed causes defects and inhomogeneities to appear as red spots in the image.


We also perform high resolution scans in our laboratory. These "postmortem" scans are aimed at (i) detecting individual defects by eddy current based imaging techniques and (ii) at calibrating the monitoring system. In the top view picture below, several 25x25mm AlMgSi AM samples manufactured with different parameters have been investigated with this method revealing a complex inner structure, from which acceptance criteria will be established. These data also demonstrate the high potential of the technique for parameter window optimisation.




Customer Value

  • For Service providers:
    • Our products support your team during the qualification phase by offering compliant documentation saving qualification costs and destructive tests.
    • Our monitoring system can be used during the production phase to detect process deviations.
  • For the Certification and control industry:
    • The data provided by our solutions can be used by certified inspectors to generate certificates.
  • For Service providers and machine manufacturers:
    • Our equipment can be turned into an optimisation mode to quickly find the parameter window corresponding to the lowest porosity. or highest production efficiency.
  • For Machine manufacturers:
    • Our versatile in-situ monitoring platform can be customised to integrate additional sensors.
Contact us today to receive a quote.

News

Nov. 23, 2020: New Projects granted with HESSO Valais
We are delighted to announce that our partner Prof. Haifa Sallem, from the HESSO VS university has been granted a project on defect detection and characterisation in metallic AM parts, in collaboration with AMiquam. And as good news never come single handed, her colleague Prof. Samuel Rey-Mermet is granted a COVID-19 HESSO project with AMiquam. We are looking forward to starting these new exciting projects !

Nov. 20, 2020: ASTM E3166 standard on the NDT of metal AM components
In February 2020, ASTM has issued an important standard on the NDT of metal AM parts. In a summary table, the ASTM relates the possible defects found in metal AM parts to the appropriate NDT technique to detect them. We are pleased that the ASTM recognises that most of the defects can be detected by the Eddy Current technique. An important note to be added: when the Eddy Current device is integrated in the machine, the applicability of the technique is extended as defects are located, at one point or the other of the process, close to the surface. In addition, an Eddy Current sensor that is accurately moved over the parts can perfectly be used to detect dimensional defects (in the plane and perpendicular to it) as electromagnetic proximity sensors do. Also, we emphasize that the Eddy Currents are also sensitive to the porosity, by means of a variation of electrical conductivity, which is the topic of another ASTM standard (E1004-17). All in all, an Eddy Current sensor integrated into your machine can address most of the possible defects ! More details about the ASTM E3166 standard here.

Nov. 19, 2020: AMiquam to present its results at the ASTM ICAM2020 conference
ASTM is one the most important body for the establishment of norms and standards in relation to the testing of materials. ASTM is becoming more and more involved in settings quality standards for the metal AM. We had the honor to be invited to present our technology and results in the frame of an invited talk of the international ASTM AM conference. More details here.

About us

We are seasoned experts and managers in the sensors, electronics, and software business with a passion for creating compliant information in the industrial context. Our products and services are used in the power gen, infrastructure, aero, and manufacturing industry, with numerous projects delivered to major companies. We support global actors of the control and certification business in the digitalization of their services.

Contact

AMiquam SA
2 Route Cité Ouest, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 364 49 57
email: info@amiquam.ch