Zeiss has acquired a license from ORNL to examine 3D printed components.

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Revolutionizing Quality Assurance in 3D Printing with Simurgh

The use of CT scanning in the analysis of metal 3D-printed parts has long been a valuable tool for detecting defects and enhancing the quality assurance process. However, the traditional techniques used for CT scanning are both costly and time-consuming, limiting their widespread adoption in the industry. Recognizing the need for a more efficient and cost-effective solution, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and ZEISS, a leading optics company based in Germany, have joined forces in a five-year licensing agreement to develop Simurgh—a groundbreaking tool that aims to revolutionize the inspection process while maintaining high levels of accuracy.

Simurgh, despite its fantasy-inspired name, is a serious business tool designed to tackle the challenges faced in additive manufacturing. By utilizing advanced algorithms trained to identify problematic geometries that may indicate defects such as trapped powder, occlusions, or cracks, Simurgh ensures that 3D printed parts undergo thorough inspection. This research collaboration is supported by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office and has received a Technology Commercialization Fund award.

The key objective of this partnership is to accelerate the CT scanning process, making it more accessible and cost-effective for industry-wide adoption. Through Simurgh, every part can be rapidly and reliably CT scanned, ultimately revolutionizing the potential of 3D printing. ORNL researcher Amir Ziabari explains, “If we can speed up the CT process to a point where it can be incorporated into a production line, it would be a game-changing development that would unlock the full potential of 3D printing.”

The partnership between ZEISS and ORNL extends beyond CT scanning. Simurgh utilizes machine learning techniques, specifically deep learning, to automatically identify and analyze areas of concern on scanned parts. The tool has been trained using data from scanning electron microscopes, further enhancing its accuracy and efficiency. By leveraging machine learning, Simurgh optimizes computing costs while significantly improving both speed and accuracy in the inspection process.

Simurgh’s capabilities have been put to the test in a range of applications, including the examination of nuclear fuel assembly brackets for the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant and 3D-printed turbine blades. ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility Director Ryan Dehoff stresses the importance of defect detection in critical parts: “Understanding what type of defects might be present is incredibly important for understanding material behavior. In these types of parts, any defect or tiny pore in the material could result in a catastrophic failure.”

The increased adoption of additive manufacturing in aerospace and medical fields has also sparked a surge in CT scanner sales. Industry giants such as ZEISS and Nikon have recognized this trend and have made significant investments in the sector. ZEISS has previously invested in EOS and collaborated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 2019 to develop the ZEISS ParAM qualification service.

With a comprehensive portfolio that includes not only CT scanners but also 3D scanners for evaluating dimensional accuracy, surface texture, and precision, ZEISS and other leading firms in metrology and semiconductor manufacturing have positioned themselves as key players in the additive manufacturing industry. Their engagement is fueled by data-driven insights, allowing them to accurately forecast the trajectory of the industry.

Simurgh’s capabilities enable comprehensive testing of entire builds or batches, moving beyond sampling and scrutinizing each individual part. In an industry defined by process variability, comprehensive testing is increasingly essential for ensuring the quality and reliability of 3D-printed parts.

With the collaborative efforts of ORNL and ZEISS, the future of quality assurance in 3D printing looks promising. Simurgh’s ability to speed up and enhance the CT scanning process holds the potential to transform additive manufacturing, unlocking its full capabilities and paving the way for further innovation. As the industry continues to evolve and expand, comprehensive testing will undoubtedly become an indispensable practice in ensuring the integrity of 3D-printed parts.

Embracing a Future of Enhanced Safety in 3D Printing###

When it comes to critical components, ensuring their integrity is of utmost importance. From parts destined for human bodies to those for aircrafts, rigorous inspection is essential to guarantee safety and reliability. And now, there is a ray of hope for achieving this goal – reduced CT scanning costs.

Imagine a future where every single component intended for a human body or an aircraft undergoes a thorough inspection, without any compromise. As an advocate for safer 3D printing, I am truly excited about the possibility of making this vision a reality.

The advances in CT scanning technology have made it a practical and viable option for inspecting critical components. Previously, the high cost associated with this scanning method limited its use to only a select few industries. But with reduced costs, we can broaden its application to encompass a wider range of sectors.

Not only would this enhance the overall safety of 3D printed components, but it would also instill trust and confidence in the technology itself. Any doubts or reservations regarding the reliability of 3D printed parts would be dispelled, as they undergo rigorous scrutiny before being utilized in real-world applications.

By staying informed on the latest news and developments in the 3D printing industry, we can actively participate in shaping this promising future. Keeping up with the advancements and breakthroughs in CT scanning technology can help us understand how it can be leveraged to ensure the safety of critical components.

Furthermore, by staying connected with third party vendors, we can gain access to valuable information and exclusive offers related to this evolving field. This allows us to stay at the forefront of advancements and make informed decisions regarding the adoption of safer 3D printing practices.

In conclusion, the prospect of widespread CT scanning for critical components is a significant step towards making 3D printing a safer process. It offers a pathway to a future where all components destined for human bodies or aircrafts undergo rigorous inspection, ensuring their integrity and reliability. Let us embrace this future and actively contribute to the realization of Ziabari’s vision. Stay updated, stay informed, and let us collectively drive the evolution of safer 3D printing practices.

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