Additive manufacturing continues to grow. The number of applications are on the rise, along with additive research. At this time last year, Paul Brackman was the only person working in the Zeiss Knoxville lab—today, he’s one of four full-time Zeiss staff at the lab, along with a team working in additive software applications at the Minneapolis headquarters, and a dedicated hardware team in Germany working on additive.
Medical device implants have become increasingly more complex over time as technology has progressed into providing a new way of construction by the means of 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing.
From lightweight, high-strength structures to hyper-realistic prototypes, 3D printing has found its way into a variety of applications. This process of additive manufacturing (AM) is becoming more common in high-volume production of designs with moderately complex geometries.
Manufacturers of medical component parts and equipment are encountering increasingly stringent requirements for the quality of their products. Customer requirements to reduce risk through fewer part rejects and defects are escalating and, consequently, tolerances are becoming tighter and tighter.
With conventional machining of metal component parts, the interior structures are often taken for granted as solid, leaving little room for doubt about the internal quality. With additive manufacturing (AM), however, the part isn’t affected by welding or machining but rather by the quality of powder used in the material and how it spreads or layers during the build process.
Additive manufacturing (AM), the 3D printing process, is increasingly important in the production of complex, high-value, critical parts with potential applications in the medical technology, aerospace and automotive industries.
So, what do we mean when we talk of post-process monitoring? Quite simply, it is the process used to monitor both the process and the finished product against their specifications, which include logging process routines and results in order to inform the machining and finalizing of the product.
Today’s design and manufacturing world is quickly evolving to a model-based environment, one where intelligent 3D CAD models are the authority, containing not only the information to build a part or assembled product, but also to verify the end result against the nominal 3D CAD design.
Two-dimensional and 3D X-ray technologies are among the most useful nondestructive testing methods. They enable the inspection of an object’s internal features without having to disassemble the sample or destroy the part in the process.