Industrial AM quality assurance options introduced by MakerVerse and ZEISS at Formnext

Parts sourcing additive manufacturing platform MakerVerse, and ZEISS, a multinational technology enterprise displayed the wide range of dimensional, surface, and material property-related assessment reports available to users on the MakerVerse platform at Formnext 2022. With these options, MakerVerse brings Zeiss’ exclusive metrology technology to industrial makers.

After uploading their design and selecting the required additive manufacturing technology, material, and finish on the MakerVerse platform, users receive an instant quote. Users can then choose from the options provided by ZEISS. These options include Tactile CMM, Optical 3D Scan, Industrial CT- and X-Ray Solutions, and Surface Roughness.

“We know how important quality is for our customers in need of additive manufacturing parts. That’s why we’re thrilled to share this offering,” said Dr. Markus Seibold, CEO of MakerVerse. “Integrating ZEISS Quality Excellence Centers to our manufacturing partner network is the perfect solution for our customers needing industrial-grade quality inspections and reports for their AM parts.”

The MakerVerse website. Image via MakerVerse.
The MakerVerse website. Image via MakerVerse.

Quality assurance options on the MakerVerse platform

The first option provided by the platform is an Optical 3D scan. In this option, non-contact measurements are made utilizing structured blue light, which provides 3D measuring data rapidly and accurately. Users are provided with a comparison of dimensional properties as well as a digital twin of the physical part.

Tactile CMM is the second option that uses an ISO 17025 coordinate measurement machine (CMM), and users can obtain precise measurements of dimensional part properties. This option is ideal for precisely measuring multiple points. Users are given a report that includes the dimensional position of five points that they can compare with each another and with the original design file.

The third option is Surface Roughness. The roughness of a portion of the part’s surface is measured with a sensitive stylus and extrapolated to the entire surface. The heights and valleys profile of a path of up to 50mm on one surface are reported to users. Precision exceeds 0.3 micrometers. The computed Rz and Ra values per DIN ISO 4287 are also provided to users.

The next option is the Industrial CT- and X-Ray Solutions wherein a computed tomography system is employed to measure the external and internal component properties, verifying the component for any potential pores, defects, errors, voids, or inclusions. Users receive the entire 3D tomographic data set for inspection, three pass-through videos, and an expert review outlining any anomalies.

MakerVerse is designed to be a key connector between industrial makers and producers. Photo via MakerVerse.
MakerVerse is designed to be a key connector between industrial makers and producers. Photo via MakerVerse.

Achieving quality assurance in additive manufacturing

In 2019 Additive Assurance released a metal 3D printing quality assurance platform. The product was soft-launched to the public at Formnext that year with the support of a foundation Global Partner Network of industry members from the energy, defense, and aerospace sectors. At the time, the Melbourne-based company anticipated expressions of interest from other parties interested in joining the network and implementing the system within their own metal parts production.

Furthermore, Sigma Labs, the computer-aided inspection (CAI) software company behind PrintRite3D, had reportedly joined the UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). Consequently, Sigma Labs’ software enabled in-process quality monitoring for additive manufacturing systems at the MTC’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing. Furthermore, the company also took part in MTC’s member-sponsored programs focusing on additive manufacturing process qualification and certification.

Elsewhere, Protolabs, an award-winning on-demand manufacturing service, offers a secondary services package, which consists of post-production quality assurance solutions for consumers. Stephen Dyson, Protolabs’ Special Operations Manager, said, “The marked increase from customers across all industries wanting to take advantage of the speed and flexibility of On-Demand manufacturing brings with it a desire to simplify the supply chain. We are offering Secondary Services to reduce the number of process steps that the customer has to manage, saving time and resources.”

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Feature image shows the MakerVerse founding team. Left to right: Christian Matzen, Tim Schark, Markus Seibold, Manish Katoch. Photo via MakerVerse.