British engineering company Renishaw, has released InfiniAM Spectral, a new process monitoring software for Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) 3D printing systems.
“For Additive Manufacturing to become a truly ubiquitous manufacturing technology, users and practitioners require a deep understanding of the process,” explained Robin Weston, Marketing Manager at Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division.
“The software will be hugely beneficial to manufacturers looking to achieve consistent processing with AM.”
Controlling additive manufacturing data
For the first half of 2018, Renishaw has experienced a reported 17% increase in financial growth in additive manufacturing. This is the result of Renishaw’s range of advanced additive manufacturing systems, which includes the recently released RenAM 500Q four-laser metal 3D printer.
Further broadening the appeal of additive manufacturing, Renishaw has provided the InfiniAM Spectral within its LPBF systems. The LPBF process uses millions of laser exposures to builds high-precision components and must demonstrate great accuracy to produce a functional part.
Thus, this software package provides real-time spectral monitoring technology which allows manufacturers to gather melt-pool data to enable traceable production and process optimization. Weston added:
“The amount of process data generated during an AM build is immense, which means it can be difficult to make practical use of it without the correct interpretation tools.”
‘Gold Standard’ part production
InfiniAM Spectral processes data from sensor modules within Renishaw’s LPBF additive manufacturing systems which is then streamed layer-by-layer across a conventional computer network.
The LaserVIEW sensor uses a photosensitive diode to measure the intensity of the laser energy, while the MeltVIEW sensor, captures near-infrared and infrared spectra emissions from the melt pool.
As the data is rendered live for viewing, manufacturers can analyze their part and identify any discrepancies during fabrication. Renishaw believes that InfiniAM Spectral will be most useful in series production for identical parts in high-value medical applications.
This is because previous data from CT scans or X-Rays of the specified part can be compared with the data collected from InfiniAM Spectral from subsequent parts – helping identify the best or ‘gold standard’ source for producing the ideal part.
Weston concludes, “InfiniAM Spectral enables manufacturers to easily interpret data and gain a more detailed understanding of their AM processes. Access to real-time data opens the door to future developments in process control – detecting and correcting problems in real-time.”
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Featured image shows InfiniAM Spectral screen shot showing 3D data reveal. Image via Renishaw.