Sigma Labs, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, a provider of quality assurance software, has developed and demonstrated closed-loop feedback control of the metal laser Powder Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing process. Using Sigma’s PrintRite3D® technology, the system reportedly operates by monitoring the process output and extracting process metrics.
These process metrics are then compared to baseline metrics. The system then determines what process input parameter values need to be changed and implements those remedial changes in real time by signaling a change in laser power in order to maintain the process under control.
Mark Cola, Chief Technology Officer of Sigma Labs, stated, “Automatic feedback process control was the next step in completing Sigma Labs’ suite of sensing, monitoring and control capabilities of metal Additive Manufacturing processes. Our addition of real-time process control clearly sets Sigma as the leader in AM process quality assurance.”
The company has patents pending covering its closed loop control of melt pool quality during metal AM and is said to be planning beta testing with select end-user customers across various market segments.