Binding standards are a must-have in practically every industry. Especially in series production, reliable production quality is indispensable. That’s why quality control and quality assurance systems are extremely important for metal-based 3D printing. The solution: EOSTATE.
Optimized user-friendliness – rapid work results
EOSTATE is easy to learn: the user interface guides users intuitively through each step of the data analysis. This makes work easier, produces quick results and makes it easy even for non-specialists to evaluate the monitoring data.
Four modules, one goal: reliable AM series production without compromise
Our monitoring and quality assurance package EOSTATE consists of four modules that can be used either individually or in combination with one another. In this way, EOSTATE meets the needs of a wide variety of industries, such as the aerospace, orthopedic technology, contract manufacturing, turbine and engine construction and tool-making sectors.
With the goal of finding a specific testing procedure for 100 % monitoring and documentation of the AM process, the engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines began developing optical tomography (OT) in 2013. Based on their work, EOSTATE Exposure OT was developed in collaboration with EOS.
MTU Aero Engines has now been using EOSTATE Exposure OT for years for process development and quality assurance in the additive series production of borescope bosses for Airbus A320neo engines. This has allowed them to completely eliminate any downstream quality assurance procedures.
EOSTATE Exposure OT is able to determine when a part is not flawless. Because of this, we were able to completely dispense with subsequent X-ray and CT inspections in the series production of borescope bosses. Economically, this is a huge advantage.
Our DMLS systems are all equipped with EOSTATE Base out of the box. The software monitors all system-internal sensors and indicates whenever a quantity such as the oxygen concentration or laser power is not within the target range. The following factors are also monitored: laser and scanner status with automatic scanner self-calibration, cooling system, electrics including the power failure protection, position of the build platform, dosing system and collection containers, status of the air circulation system, process chamber and ambient atmosphere, as well as the temperature of the build platform. If any of these quantities deviate from a predefined corridor, the build process is stopped and the user is notified.
Another prerequisite for a stable build process in 3D printing is a uniform and complete coating of the build platform at every layer. The PowderBed module is the solution for monitoring the current powder bed. After each layering and exposure phase, an integrated camera takes a picture of the build area and identifies any irregularities, such as an incomplete powder layer, grooves or cavities. This reveals any uneven or incomplete layering steps. If there are any problems, the build process can quickly be stopped.
The EOSTATE plug-in optimizes the application, allowing the recordings to be exported as a video clip to the work computer.
EOSTATE MeltPool provides high-resolution information about the melt pool dynamics, making it the ideal complement to Exposure OT. Using on-axis sensors integrated into the beam path, MeltPool measures the emissions of the melt pool, giving deeper insight into the 3D printing process. Various individually adjustable analysis parameters make it possible to evaluate the part quality. The features of MeltPool make it ideal for users who want to improve their research and development processes or optimize their production methods.
The high complexity of additively manufactured parts places special demands on quality assurance. Downstream testing methods such as X-ray or computed tomography (CT) quickly reach their limits. In many cases, testing becomes more expensive than the actual manufacturing – several times over.
Exposure OT is a unique and cost-efficient alternative: As the world’s first commercial testing solution based on optical tomography, Exposure OT enables non-destructive testing after the build process. Regardless of the part size, Exposure OT records and analyzes the quality-relevant 3D printing process data with a sCMOS industrial camera. The camera captures the entire build space and measures the quality-relevant heat emissions in real time. Exposure OT then generates a list of indicators for the user to evaluate. The analysis algorithm can be adapted to individual requirements, meaning that each user only receives the results that are relevant to them.
Exposure OT enables you to eliminate the high costs of downstream quality assurance procedures. Exposure OT is also a useful tool for application development: the data that it collects can decisively improve series production and process development. This significantly reduces the development times of new products.
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