Is this the future of 3D printer scanning?

Louise Davis

Scanlab is about to launch a scan system control extension using a smart data-acquisition interface that reads diverse sensors. Additive manufacturing users could gain significant advantages from the ability to uniformly query and evaluate centralised process data.

Industrial manufacturing’s requirements are rising relentlessly. An increasingly vital criterion for quality control and product traceability is the precise acquisition and monitoring of measurement data during production processes. But users often face daunting challenges from the differing data formats, countless interfaces and inadequate real-time synchronisation. For 3D printing, Scanlab is presenting the ‘Open Interface Extension‘ at formnext 2019. This functional model of an intelligent interface is capable of integrating sensor data into scan system control. Two tradeshow demonstrators will reveal just how diverse the range of integrable sensors can be.
One configuration incorporates a surface-temperature pyrometer into scan head control. In this setup, a fast-sampling sensor system’s data merges with absolutely precise laser beam position data, while all field and objective corrections get taken into account. The laser’s power is modulated in parallel with real-time scan motion, too, thus opening up future process control possibilities.
A second application integrates an OCT (optical coherence tomography) sensor from Precitec that measures the surface topography of a powder bed or workpieces. The sensor data’s high complexity requires direct interaction with the scan system. This lays the foundation for future customer-specific solutions that integrate sensor data with synchronised scanner motion.

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