US Department of Defense awards contract to extend Flightware’s in-situ inspection method

August 27, 2019

August 27, 2019

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a combat support agency in the United States Department of Defense (DoD), has awarded a $1 million contract to a team led by Flightware Inc, headquartered in Guilford, Connecticut, USA, to extend its work in developing an in-situ inspection method for metal Additive Manufacturing.

“DLA is actively applying the benefits of AM to better perform our mission supplying spare parts to the warfighter,” stated, Denise Price, DLA’s Program Manager for the Small Business Innovation Program. “Flightware’s in-situ inspection method can reduce scrap and improve yield, which reduces the cost and lead time of parts made by AM methods.” 

The two-year programme, which includes partners, the Edison Welding Institute (EWI) in Columbus, Ohio, and OpenAdditive, the research division of Universal Technology Corp. (UTC) in Dayton, Ohio, is using a Layer Topographic Mapping (LTM) method to determine melt quality, directly from as-formed layer surface measurements. 

Under the initial effort, Flightware demonstrated that the LTM in-situ method can detect melt flaws, such as lack of fusion, in real time on a layer-by-layer basis with 98.2% detection rate and only 1% false detection. After detecting these flaw regions, appropriate repair procedures were automatically defined and then performed, as a demonstration of closed loop control. 

Flyware states that this essentially eliminated the initial flaw porosity (up to 14%) and the repaired layer was restored to unflawed layer quality (less than 0.2% porosity). This reportedly salvaged the part, and allowed acceptance (based on CT scan results) of a part that otherwise would have been scrapped. 

Under the programme, EWI is developing a large area profilometry sensor to measure the entire bed of the AM machine with high precision. The sensor will reportedly be installed in UTC’s OpenAdditive PANDA printer, a commercial, open architecture, Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) system. Flightware will then refine and improve in-situ inspection algorithms to reliably determine layer quality of both the as-formed melt and the powder bed | |

August 27, 2019

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • 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

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap