US Air Force employs Phase3D to develop real-time Additive Manufacturing inspection

May 3, 2024

Phase3D has developed a real-time inspection and certification technology for powder-based Additive Manufacturing (Courtesy Phase3D)
Phase3D has developed a real-time inspection and certification technology for powder-based Additive Manufacturing (Courtesy Phase3D)

Phase3D, a startup based in Chicago, Illinois, USA, has been selected by the US Air Force to further Additive Manufacturing quality inspection through a Phase I contract from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programme. In collaboration with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), Phase3D intends to propel the development of Fringe Research, a real-time inspection and certification technology for powder-based Additive Manufacturing.

Specifically, this contract focuses on combining data from multiple sensors to improve defect detection. Phase3D’s focus is to advance flaw detection and part quality assurance for critical use Additive Manufacturing applications.

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“Phase3D’s heightmap data does not exist in a vacuum. While we have seen excellent correlation and predictive capabilities from heightmap layer data from structured light, we are excited to announce the development of incorporating multiple data streams to increase detection capabilities to our customers,” Dr Niall O’Dowd, founder and CEO of Phase3D, shared.

This collaborative effort between Phase3D, the US Air Force, and UDRI is said to represent a crucial step forward for the AM industry. By integrating data from multiple sensors, Phase3D’s technology works to enhance the accuracy and reliability of in-situ monitoring, paving the way for early detection look of part defects and enabling interventions during the build process. This can include repairs or stopping the build outright, reducing scrap rates and improving overall yield.

The impact of this development on the AM industry is hoper to extend beyond the immediate benefits to the aerospace industry. By reducing scrap rates and improving build quality inspection, Fringe Research from Phase3D may help customers reduce project lead times, increase machine utilisation, and ensure build quality.

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  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

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