Dyndrite, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, USA, has announced a partnership with Mimo Technik, Carson, California, and Astro Mechanical Testing Laboratory, Los Angeles, California. This follows on from the introduction of Dyndrite Materials & Process Development software, launched late last year.
Mimo Technik develops manufacturing solutions in the Additive Manufacturing space for aerospace, rocketry, defence and motorsport clients. Astro executes mechanical and metallurgical testing for AM materials developed for spaceflight hardware, launch vehicles and satellites.
Together, the team of experts offers specialised solutions to support critical programmes for aerospace and defence. Through the MASTRO process, the organisations qualified materials for industry primes such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.
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Mimo Technik and Astro chose to collaborate with Dyndrite on the development of the MASTRO process in order to streamline and automate a closed-loop source for AM production and qualification with the goal of retaining a leadership position amongst digital manufacturing for primes and launch vehicle providers.
MASTRO is Mimo Technik and Astro’s internal proprietary parameter development process that involves experiments to determine values for all variables that influence the Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) process. Qualified material is now in production for fracture critical hardware such as landing gear, propulsion systems, payload structures, and defence applications.
“Parameter development and qualification is a tedious and time consuming process,” stated Steve Walton, Head of Product at Dyndrite. “Dyndrite’s tools allow users to rationally explore the parameter space of interest using their own algorithms while building upon provided tools. Our APIs are designed to support the user in these studies and algorithmically provide the build and toolpath pedigree to ensure data can be used in research, qualification, and production environments. The build and toolpath automation provided allows engineers to explore the solutions to new process problems, instead of spending energy on manual, error-prone data entry.”
Mimo Technik and ASTRO will leverage Dyndrite’s software tools to codify MASTRO build recipes which is intended to enable repeatable quality and traceability. Automated build layout, serialisation, and reporting are all necessary for a scalable qualification process for machines, materials, and process parameters. Currently, Mimo Technik exclusively uses ten PBF-LB machines from SLM Solutions due to their open architecture, continued support, and philosophy for advancement.
“The business case for being an open-architecture metal 3D solution provider is at its core about making our customers more successful,” added Garett Purdon, Vice President of Sales – Americas at SLM Solutions. “It’s about creating choices for our customers and removing arrogance – we’re not a jack of all trades but a true master of one. We acknowledge that others can add additional value.”
To date, metal AM machine calibration and qualification, followed by materials and process development, have been a costly (upwards of $1 million), labour-intensive, and long-duration process often requiring multi-year commitments. The Dyndrite/Mimo Technik collaboration aims to serve as an exemplar for qualifying processes for PBF-LB Additive Manufacturing machines.
“Scaling digital Additive Manufacturing to an industrial level is the next step for strategic Aerospace and Defence infrastructure,” said Jonathan Cohen, CEO & co-founder of MIMO Technik. “Dyndrite is the platform we are using to build that reality. Empowering our engineers from rapid material development to creating qualified aerospace workflows for our growing AM facility.”
Humna Khan, CEO and co-founder of Astro, concluded, “We have characterised dozens of materials through the MASTRO process over the last two years. Our partnership with Dyndrite will accelerate the efforts to streamline testing efficiencies in order to get customers to production sooner.”
Dyndrite and Mimo Technik intend to further partner to develop advanced scanpath strategies for productivity and quality for a variety of alloys used by Mimo Technik’s customers.