3D printing software developer Dyndrite and Finnish alternative energy and material company UPM Additive Solutions have entered into a joint agreement to create “smart” metal build plates for the metal 3D printing sector.
According to Dyndrite, the metal build plate is crucial in metal 3D printing as it forms the basis for every part that is printed. However, many users in the industry do not record important data about their build plates that could help them understand their history and lifespan. This lack of information increases the risk of problems like powder leveling issues, plate warpage, and internal fatigue, which can cause expensive build failures and delays, especially in Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) applications. These build plates adhere to ASTM qualification which can be used by materials and process development scientists and engineers to optimize the printing process.
“For the AM production industry to scale we must develop new tools to enable it. By working with UPM and leveraging the power of machine data we can accelerate learning, improve predictability and grow,” said Harshil Goel, founder and CEO, of Dyndrite. “Through insights of the data we allow users to make less risky decisions on their build plates to assure success.”
Introducing data intelligence to metal 3D printing build plates
Introducing data intelligence to metal 3D printing build plates can result in various advantages that can enhance the overall metal 3D printing process. Firstly, data intelligence can help in optimizing the build plate design by analyzing data from previous builds, leading to better heat distribution, adhesion, and surface finish. This optimization can improve the printing process’s efficiency and the final product’s quality.
Secondly, data intelligence can improve the adhesion of the metal powder to the build plate, which is a significant challenge in metal 3D printing. By analyzing previous build data, the software can identify patterns and develop algorithms to improve adhesion, such as adjusting the temperature or texture of the build plate. This adjustment can result in better bonding between the metal powder and the build plate, leading to better-quality prints.
Additionally, data intelligence can improve printing accuracy by analyzing previous build data and identifying patterns that can be adjusted to improve accuracies, such as laser power, printing speed, and distance between the laser and the build plate. With better accuracy, there is less waste during the printing process, saving time, money, and reducing environmental impact. Furthermore, data intelligence can help identify defects or areas for improvement during the printing process, leading to better quality control and a higher-quality final product.
UPM Additive Solutions’ additive manufacturing offering
In addition, UPM provides a subscription-based service that allows customers to track build plates from manufacturing to restoration. Each plate is assigned a unique serial number and retains accessible quality inspection data. Smart Build Plate subscribers can access build data related to each plate from the machine, including pre-heat, laser power, powder melting, heat treatment, and stress relief, as well as other conditions that the build plate will be exposed to.
The UPM Smart Build Plate service will be compatible with all major metal 3D printer OEMs, such as Aconity, EOS, Renishaw, and SLM Solutions, and is scheduled to be launched in Q3 2023.
“UPM is excited to partner with Dyndrite and its metal users to unlock the keys to build plate life”, said Chris Prue, UPM Additive Solutions. “Through data, we can put knowledge in the hands of the user to raise throughput and reduce failures. Build plate usage data helps customers understand and manage their usage and demand for plates to keep costs low while keeping inventory available to reduce downtime. Through smart build plates and a reliable supply chain, we can collectively mature and grow the industry.”
Dyndrite Materials and Process Development for LPBF software offering
The LPBF software enables materials scientists and engineers to develop new alloys and material parameters for metal 3D printing parts in a more efficient and cost-effective way. It does this by providing users with toolpath control, allowing them to tailor parameters for intricate geometry, control surface roughness, and ensure material homogeneity. The LPBF software also provides native file integration with the metal AM machine providers listed above, making it easier for users to work with multiple layer heights and define print strategies.
Dyndrite’s early adoption program for the LPBF software has reached capacity and the company is opening a waitlist for future parties. This suggests that there is significant interest in the software among materials and process development professionals in the metal 3D printing industry.
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Featured image shows Dyndrite and UPM partnership. Image via Dyndrite.