- LPBF being used in additive manufacturing at increasing rate, allowing users to quickly create prototypes, more complex geometries
- Sigma Labs leads industry in providing invaluable quality-control technology throughout metal AM space
Laser-based metal-additive manufacturing is the leading technology in the metal 3D-printing world, and as scientists learn more about the correlation between laser power, temperature and other effects, Sigma Labs (NASDAQ: SGLB) is at the forefront, providing real time quality-assurance software for the commercial 3D-metal-printing industry.
In recent report from Nature journal (http://nnw.fm/Ys3eQ), titled ‘Subsurface Cooling Rates and Microstructural Response during Laser Based Metal Additive Manufacturing’, scientists explain that “laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) is a method of additive manufacturing characterized by the rapid scanning of a high powered laser over a thin bed of metallic powder to create a single layer, which may then be built upon to form larger structures. Much of the melting, resolidification, and subsequent cooling take place at much higher rates and with much higher thermal gradients than in traditional metallurgical processes, with much of this occurring below the surface.”
LPBF is being used in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, at an increasing rate – at least in part because of the ability it provides for users to quickly create prototypes as well as create more complex geometries. In addition, LPBF allows users to utilize a variety of metal powders that are more efficient for creating objects.
However, because the process involves the rapid melting of powder and then re-solidification, users who choose LPBF must consider several thermal gradients, including cooling rates, which can affect the outcome of structures. In their research, the authors of the Nature study quantified cooling rates and then compared those rates to the quality of the printed product.
The report is worth noting because scientists concluded that their reported results “provide a direct measure of the subsurface thermal history and demonstrate its importance to the ultimate quality of additively manufactured materials.”
As further research is done on LPBF and all types of additive manufacturing, Sigma Labs will continue to lead the way in providing invaluable quality-control technology throughout the 3D-metal-printing industry. The company is the leading provider of in-process, quality-assurance software to the commercial 3D-metal-printing industry that allows operators of machines making 3D metal parts to offset emerging quality problems, sustain part quality, and avoid rejects.
Sigma’s proprietary PrintRite3D(TM) is the first additive manufacturing solution that enables real-time quality control, allowing errors to be detected and corrected in real time, thus saving both money and time. By providing the unique quality-assurance solution that the 3D-metal-printing sector needs, SGLB is set to leverage the latest additive manufacturing research and processes to ensure the highest quality 3D-metal-printing results across a wide variety of sectors, including aerospace, automotive, biomedical and electronics.
Founded in 2010, Sigma is a software company that specializes in the development and commercialization of real-time, computer-aided-inspection (CAI) solutions known as PrintRite3D for 3D-advanced manufacturing technologies. SGLB’s advanced, computer-aided software product revolutionizes commercial additive manufacturing, enabling nondestructive quality assurance mid-production, uniquely allowing errors to be corrected in real time.
For more information about Sigma Labs, please visit www.SigmaLabsInc.com
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