Jun 19, 2017 | By Tess

EOS, a leader in metal and industrial 3D printing solutions, has announced the release of EOSTATE Exposure OT, the latest tool in its EOSTATE monitoring suite. Reportedly the first commercial system for optical tomography, EOSTATE Exposure OT offers users real-time camera monitoring of metal prints on the EOS M 290 system. The tool therefore enables users to visualize each part as it is being 3D printed, layer by layer.

According to EOS, its new EOSTATE tool works with prints of any geometry and size and provides “more comprehensive process monitoring and quality assurance.” EOSTATE Exposure OT promises to be especially useful for industries such as aerospace, which require rigorous qualification processes for components.

“Quality assurance is essential in large-scale manufacturing where reproducible component qualities are of prime significance," commented Dr. Tobias Abeln, Chief Technical Officer of EOS. "Costs for quality assurance are significantly reduced as the monitoring process occurs early on at the build process stage. This has a positive impact on costs-per-part as well."

The optical tomography (OT) system consists of a high-resolution camera which monitors the exposure process, as well as an industrial camera which is capable of recording the printer’s build platform at a high frequency in a “near-infrared range.” This last feature allows data to be collected about the melting behavior of the metal material being printed.

The data gained from the melting behavior can then be monitored and even analyzed using a special software program. This software can recognize if any areas of the print fall outside of the set “normal range,” and will mark them accordingly. “The growing volume of data makes it possible to determine the impact of these so-called indicators on the quality of the manufactured parts with ever greater precision,” says the company.

Additionally, EOSTATE Exposure OT is a self-learning system, which means that the more data it processes, the more intelligent it becomes. Similarly, the more users become acquainted with the specific parameters of the parts they are printing, the better they themselves become at assessing the quality and density of the printed parts.

With its new optical tomography tool, EOS is hoping to improve the ability to recognize possible defect sources during the building process, making the rejection of defective parts more efficient (by cutting down on expensive qualification tests and techniques).

In developing the EOSTATE Exposure OT system, EOS worked closely with MTU Aero Engines, a Munich-based aircraft engine manufacturer. The OT tool reportedly allowed MTU Aero Engines to reduce its “downstream, non-destructive examination,” largely because parts with printed defects were identified much earlier.

The German company has reportedly used the tool for its series manufacturing over the last several months. Other pilot clients for the new EOSTATE tool include Liebherr, a Switzerland-based large equipment manufacturer, and IPC.

“At MTU Aero Engines we recognized the potential of additive manufacturing early on. However, until now we didn’t have the experience and the volume of data needed to sufficiently evaluate the quality of the parts and transfer the technology to large-scale manufacturing,” said Dr. Jürgen Kraus, Senior Consultant Additive Manufacturing at MTU. “We are confident that we will be able to do so with EOSTATE Exposure OT.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Software

 

 

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