Sigma Additive Solutions is working with Novanta to integrate analytics and quality assurance software with 3D scan head technology
October 25, 2022
SANTA FE, N.M.— A recently formed partnership between Sigma Additive Solutions and Novanta integrates quality assurance with a 3-axis scan head designed for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) machines. The two companies are working to create an integrated hardware-software technology that makes quality assurance “a standard part of the optical train,” according to a release from Sigma Additive Solutions.
Sigma Additive Solutions is a developer and supplier of in-process quality assurance software for the commercial 3D printing industry. Novanta is a global supplier of laser photonics, precision motion control, and vision technologies for OEMs in the medical and advanced industrial markets, including additive manufacturing applications.
“This is an exciting moment for the additive manufacturing industry,” said Sigma Additive Solutions Chief Executive Officer Jacob Brunsberg, in a statement. “Quality—and corresponding cost of quality—is one of the greatest barriers to industrialized scale of this technology. Today, we have taken a big stride in breaking down this wall, providing access to an agnostic analytics and monitoring solution integrated with scan head technology.”
Novanta’s Firefly 3D scan head is said to position real-time monitoring as a standard, enabling Sigma’s data analytics and quality assurance software suite. The next generation 3-axis scan head, designed for laser powder bed fusion machines, reportedly enables OEMs instant access to process monitoring with Sigma’s analytics suite. It is also said to provide end-customers in the field, agnostic of the OEM, the ability to implement monitoring solutions across machine fleets without complicated retrofits to optical trains.
The product brings a 200kHz data acquisition rate, enabling the potential for closed-loop control and laser correction that Sigma’s technology has demonstrated, the companies said in the release. It is said to easily scale, permitting the addition of multiple scan heads to OEM machine design to attain the benefits of multi-scanner architectures. Single, dual, quad, and multi-row setups can boost the productivity of machines for mass producing high fidelity parts with the benefit of Sigma’s quality assurance software support, according to the release.
“This value-add is expected to speed up OEM implementation, while providing solid benefit to additive producers,” Brunsberg added. “We are focused on decreasing the cost of quality by shortening development and qualification time, increasing production quality, and decreasing the need for post process inspection for end users.”
Sigma Additive Solutions believes its software will be a major catalyst for the acceleration and adoption of industrial 3D printing, according to the release. The company specializes in developing and commercializing real-time monitoring and analytics, known as PrintRite3D®, for 3D metal and polymer advanced manufacturing technologies. By detecting and classifying defects and anomalies in real time during the manufacturing process, PrintRite3D is said to enable significant cost-savings and production efficiencies by reducing waste, increasing yield, and shortening cycle times.
“We are very pleased to show the world the work we have done with Sigma Additive Solutions,” said Simon Matthias, product manager for Novanta, in the release. “Adding real-time monitoring to our scan head sets a new standard for the industry and enables increased quality control of our high-performance laser beam steering solutions.”