3D printing ‘will create need for advanced inspection methods’

By August 20, 2013News, Technology

3D printing – the new process by which parts can be ‘printed out’ on demand – is set to revolutionise manufacturing. However it will also create a demand for enhanced non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques, according to Dr. Katy Milne of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry.

Katy, who heads the MTC’s Metrology and NDT group, says new and improved inspection techniques will be required to test components produced through 3D printing or additive manufacturing, as it is also known.

Katy will be outlining the issues in her talk at Materials Testing, the international NDT exhibition, which is taking place at Telford International Centre on September 10-12.

“Additive manufacture poses a big challenge for NDT inspection because the shapes of the products can be so complex,” she says. “Traditional X-Ray inspection gives a 2D image that is difficult to interpret. X-Ray Computed Tomography gives a 3D view but needs to be developed further if it is to become a viable part of the production process.”

Katy believes the solution may lie in using different configurations of the X-Ray CT systems and in improving automatic defect recognition. “There could be 1,000 picture in an X-Ray CT scan so systems need to be able to interrogate large volumes of data to identify defects,” she adds.

Katy’s talk will take place at 10.15am on Tuesday 10 September. Entry is free of charge.

Other talks include:

• Pipeline external corrosion analysis using a 3D laser scanner by Pierre-Hugues Allard of Creaform (12.05pm Tuesday)

• Developments in guided wave technology for long pipeline inspections by Thierry Couturier of Olympus (9.50am Wednesday)

• Developments with eddy current array and bond testing C-Scan by Phil Edwards of Olympus, which relates to developments arising arose from a project the company carried out with Boeing (2.45pm Wednesday)

• Semi-autonomous ultra tank floor inspection by Ekkehard Zwicker and Malik Kayous of Alstom Inspection Robotics (12.25pm Thursday)

• Underwater inspections with ACFM by Christian Blinkenberg of TSC Ltd (1.15pm Thursday).

For further information, see www.materialstesting.org or follow @BINDT_MT2013 on Twitter.

 

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