Dyndrite to lead $1.3M project for operational qualification through software automation

May 9, 2024

Dyndrite develops a range of software for metal Additive Manufacturing (Courtesy Dyndrite)
Dyndrite develops a range of software for metal Additive Manufacturing (Courtesy Dyndrite)

Dyndrite Corporation, Seattle, Washington, USA, has announced that it has been selected by America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) for the project: Improving LPBF Operational Qualification (OQ) through Software Automation. The $1.3 million project falls under the ‘Methods for Demonstrating Operational Qualifications’ award.

Currently, qualification processes in metal Additive Manufacturing are complex, manual, and error-prone, leading to long delivery times, high costs, and variable outcomes, explains Dyndrite. Additionally, operational qualifications (OQ) can tie up AM machines for extended periods, reducing available machine time that could otherwise be used to produce parts. Manual OQ methods require substantial direct engineer and operator involvement, causing unwanted ‘human-in-the-loop’ variation.

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OQ generally requires several builds to ratify basic materials’ property performance and develop optimal parameters for the specific geometry before freezing the process. Typical OQ results in locking the production process to a particular part revision, a given vendor’s machine, model type, and often a specific serial number. A simple part change, machine upgrade, or productivity improvement, such as increasing layer thickness or print speed, all require a lengthy OQ to be rerun. Likewise, moving to a more productive multi-laser machine introduces new process variables like part stitching that requires extensive qualification.

The awarded project, which includes Siemens Energy and ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE), will demonstrate and provide commercial solutions for streamlined and automated methods of OQ for Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB). The collective output will be a data-validated software toolkit to enable Siemens Energy to automate its build creation process and reporting with machine variability understood and neutralised via parameterisation across PBF-LB platforms. As the current process will be measured and quantified, the automated system can be compared directly. It is expected that the build preparation time, and therefore cost, will reduce by 50%.

“We are excited to be working with an established experienced user of Additive Manufacturing within regulated industries,” stated Steve Walton, Head of Product, Dyndrite. “Siemens Energy has already demonstrated the use of AM for critical applications, appreciates the costs and challenges associated with OQ, and also understands how Dyndrite and ASTM can contribute to reducing costs and increasing material performance. Together we are building tools that will lead to further applications innovation within Siemens Energy for the benefit of the AM industry.”

Ramesh Subramanian, Principal Expert at Siemens Energy, added, “We are honoured to be part of this project and to collaborate with esteemed partners like Dyndrite and ASTM. Our joint efforts are poised to spearhead innovations that streamline operational qualifications, which are crucial for advancing Additive Manufacturing into regulated applications.”

“This project represents not just a step forward but a significant leap for the entire industry, promising enhanced efficiency and improved quality across the board,” said Richard Huff, Director of Industry Consortia and Partnerships at ASTM International. “Our involvement underscores the team’s commitment to supporting standardisation efforts that enhance operational qualifications and maintaining compliance in Additive Manufacturing.”




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