Materials

Aurora Labs to certify metal 3D printed parts with DNV GL

In a new, non-binding agreement, global quality assurance and risk management company DNV GL will develop a certification framework for metal parts made on Aurora Labs (ASX:A3D) 3D printers. The system will ensure that all items made by the Australian company’s machines meet global manufacturing requirements, and are fit for purpose in oil & gas, power and maritime industries.

Increasing adoption in energy and marine sectors

According to Brice Le Gallo, Regional Manager of Oil & Gas for SEA/Australia at DNV GL, adequate qualification and certification is a strong determiner in the slow-adoption of 3D printing by industries targeted in this new agreement. Le Gallo adds, “We are pleased to partner with Aurora and believe that our collaboration will help advance the use of AM for the oil and gas and marine industries.”

The maritime industry in particular has been slow on the uptake of additive technologies, though the National Institute for Shipping and Shipbuilding (NISS) asserts the additive will be an essential part of the area’s future. The U.S. Navy is gradually introducing 3D printing for plastic tooling and, using Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), Damen Shipyards recently unveiled the world’s first metal 3D printed operational propeller.

RamLab's 3D printed WAAMpeller unveiled at Damen Shipyards. Photo via Damen
RamLab’s 3D printed WAAMpeller unveiled at Damen Shipyards. Photo via Damen

Building an internationally recognized, independent standard

To overcome the stringent specifications of oil & gas, marine and power industry, DNV GL will tackle qualification in three ways.

First, DNV GL will “create a process whereby parts printed by Aurora machines can be independently certified.” According to David Budge, Managing Director and Interim Chairman of Aurora Labs, “The independent certification will provide us with enhanced credibility when speaking to potential customers and will be a big step forward in recognition of the technology we have developed.”

Second of all, using Aurora’s management software, DNV speciliasts will develop an end to end certification process were parts can be assessed as they are 3D printed.

The end result of both of these points will be an internationally recongized certification standard for Aurora Labs, taking into account “all critical performance criteria” of powdered materials, hardware specifications, work environment, and the process for design validation.

Aurora Labs team with their first printer to ship. Photo via Aurora Labs/Twitter.
Aurora Labs team with their first printer to ship. Photo via Aurora Labs/Twitter.

Feeding a global need

DNV GL is also collaborating with A*Star’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) to create certified advanced manufacturing procedures for Sembcorp Marine.

Lloyd’s Register and TWI also have a framework set out for metal 3D printing, which was last updated in March 2017.

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Featured image shows a Rhoms Ball 3D printed by S Titanium Pro 316L. Photo via Aurora Labs.

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