Sigma Labs, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, reports that it has formed a partnership with Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA, for the development and expansion of its PrintRite3D In-Process Quality Assurance technology for application in Directed Energy Deposition (DED) Additive Manufacturing.
As part of the partnership, Sigma Labs will validate the technology with Northwestern University, which implemented its PrintRite3D Real-Time Meltpool Analytics technology earlier this year. The beta system will be installed onto the university’s customised open-architecture DED system, the Additive Rapid Prototyping Instrument (ARPI), located at Northwestern’s Advanced Manufacturing Processes Laboratory (AMPL). Sigma Labs is now seeking additional commercial DED machine OEM partners to expand the beta testing programme.
DED has been successfully applied in various industries, including aerospace, oil & gas, defence, marine and architecture. Aerospace manufacturers are said to be using the technology increasingly to produce structural parts for satellites and military aircraft.
According to Autonomous Manufacturing, Lockheed Martin was able to use the technology to reduce production time on a critical component by 87% and cut lead-time from two years to three months.
“OEMs have seen an increase in demand of the Directed Energy Deposition machine ranging from high-level R&D projects to the production of prototype and production parts, many of which are for the aerospace industry,” commented Mark Ruport, Chief Executive Officer of Sigma Labs. “This initiative expands our market opportunity and is the first step in Sigma’s strategy to apply our technology across a broad array of Additive Manufacturing processes.”