Quantum sensor for particle analysis improves quality control of powders in Additive Manufacturing

March 26, 2024

March 26, 2024

The quantum particle sensor detects and classifies the particles in feedstock, including powders, according to size, number, and composition (Courtesy Q.ANT)
The quantum particle sensor detects and classifies the particles in feedstock, including powders, according to size, number, and composition (Courtesy Q.ANT)

Q.ANT GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany, demonstrated its particle sensor based on quantum technology at this year’s AM Forum in Berlin. The new device provides powder manufacturers and processors with immediate feedback on the process, with a sensor detecting and analysing particles in raw materials and feedstock, regardless of the medium (liquid, gas or powder). Process monitoring, process optimisation and quality control are, therefore, reported to be possible in real-time.

The quantum technology applied allows conclusions to be drawn about the size, number and distribution of the individual particles. In future, the company expects that quantum-based sensor will also be able to classify shapes. The AI built into it can be trained to distinguish predefined shapes, such as elliptical or spherical particles from round ones. To do this, however, it must be trained for specific use cases.

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Q.ANT offers partnership programmes for specific use cases

Pilot projects are said to have demonstrated very high data quality — for example, the AI can distinguish particle agglomerates in metallic powders from individual particles. To develop further use cases for specific applications. Q.ANT is offering partnership programmes to interested companies.

“This gives industry early access to this new solution for particularly challenging problems without having to go through long development cycles,” stated Vanessa Bader, Customer Project Engineer at Q.ANT. “Our partners have the opportunity to work with us to integrate the quantum sensor into their production processes and adapt it to their applications.”

A normal computer is all that is needed to transfer and visualise the measured data. The sensor is immediately ready for use via a website in the browser.

“Nothing needs to be installed, you don’t need any extra computing power or complicated training for employees,” explained Bader.

The data itself is analysed using a small server that is built directly into the particle sensor.


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March 26, 2024

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