Industrial 3D printing and desktop 3D printing have one major hurdle to widespread adoption: quality assurance. With desktop 3D printing, this is much more of a nuisance. With highly regulated industries like aerospace, quality assurance is a total obstacle. There are many companies and individuals dedicating themselves to figuring out reliable methods for assuring the highest quality industrial 3D printed parts. This is why it’s especially important to keep track of companies and individuals who are attempting to make obstacles like quality control obsolete, or at least provide a measure of reliability that stacks up to tough industry standards.
Sigma Labs recently received a $500,000 contract from GE Aviation, as part of a winning team of select companies and universities participating in the US’s national America Makes program. Another reason for the contractis Sigma Labs’ “In-Process Quality Assurance (IPQA®) software for advanced AM monitoring”. The QA software is called PrintRite3D® technology, and the contract was awarded to implement the software in the 3D printing of high-volume, high-quality aerospace components.
In the next 18 months, Sigma Labs will implement two other systems at Honeywell and AerojetRocketdyne, a unit of California based GenCorp. Back in May, we reported that Sigma Labs had entered into an agreement with Honeywell to test itsPrintRite DEFORM software.
Mark Cola, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sigma Labs, made the following statements: “We are very pleased to announce this first contract under our previously-announced award with [America Makes]. Working with some of the best-known companies in the industry, including GE and Honeywell, we will use this project to further demonstrate our PrintRite3D® technology and provide for additional data collection. We believe awards such as this open up the way for business development opportunities and, at the same time, strengthen Sigma Labs’ position in the nascent yet rapidly-growing AM space.”
We’ll be keeping track of key developments that are analogous to the spread of 3D printing technology across industries. High industry standards will eventually end up guiding 3D printing through a door that’s wide open and waiting. It’s on the way.