Lead Forensics

Combining CT Scanning with Additive Manufacturing

Jul 24, 2019 | 3D Scanning, Additive Manufacturing, CT Scanning, Manufacturing, News, Quality & Inspection

Excerpt from an article www.digitalengineering247.com

CT scanning has the ability to provide detailed quality inspection scans of 3D printed parts for many industries. This role in additive manufacturing supplements how CT scanning is already used in reverse engineering activities.

Whilst 3D printing enables the production of parts in previously impossible designs, there is a need to inspect them, and that’s where CT scanning comes in. As 3D printing allows the production of complex internal structures, CT scanners provide a unique way to help quality inspect the accuracy of printed parts which will be used in production. Other scanning and metrology techniques are limited to only recording the exterior surfaces of the parts.

“We see a lot of interest in printing components because of the complexity it allows, particularly in aerospace and other industries,” says Steve Pilz, additive manufacturing product manager at ANSYS. “But there’s also this innate fear of putting one of these things on a plane or into production because they can’t see what’s inside.”

As more additively manufactured parts are evaluated for use in critical applications (like aerospace or automotive) where accuracy and structural integrity are important, CT can take those measurements without destroying costly parts.

For example, with polymers, CT scanning can detect potential part failures. It can investigate material flow and detect flaws in the manufacturing process that can’t otherwise be predicted.

To date not many companies are combining CT scans and 3D printing. Experts say that in many cases it’s because many customers don’t understand CT scanning technology or how it can benefit 3D print operations. It is also thought that in some cases companies are designing parts that can be quality inspected more conventionally, and not taking full advantage of 3D print capabilities.

CT scanning works by taking hundreds of X-ray images of a part as it is rotated inside the scanner. The 2D images are then combined to create a 3D point cloud. In quality applications, the CT image can then be compared to the CAD file to measure accuracy of the print.

See the full www.digitalengineering247.com article here.

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The PES Scanning blog provides information and news on the scanning and engineering services we offer. The blog also includes views from our team and information about projects we’ve been working on.