Netherlands-based manufacturer of ceramic & metal AM systems, Admatec, releases a process monitoring system for ceramic & metal AM. Users can now benefit from full documentation and traceability of the manufacturing process.

Admatec first raised our attention two years ago with its ability to develop both metal & ceramic 3D Printers. Quiet on its innovations, Admatec has been able to challenge other manufacturing processes with its additive manufacturing technology. The company’s collaboration with Aristo-Cast presents an interesting application that illustrates this point.

Today, the launch of the monitoring system improves control during the use of the modular 3D Printer through layer detection, foil movement and time-lapse videos of the print. Indeed, to maintain or enhance quality of products, manufacturers can use either quality assurance or control. According to various researches, these two techniques remain a significant challenge to a wider adoption of AM technologies for metal parts in demanding industries such as aerospace. That’s why a wide range of process monitoring and control systems for metal AM based on Powder Bed Fusion and Direct Energy Deposition systems has been released throughout the past decade.

With this launch, the Dutch manufacturer confirms the validity of these techniques: a comprehensive real-time inspection method and a closed loop monitoring system can improve the additive manufacturing process. The company explains that using the monitoring system, the AM operator can see what is happening during the print process, and record it layer by layer. For instance, during the manufacturing of 180 products, the system will be able to detect a single defect that might occur during the printing process and proceed with a correction on the other 179 parts. Such solution is not possible with a conventional approach which would have resulted in a complete failure of the batch.

“Our customers are now able to trace back each step of the print with additional log files that work as proof of the AM process particularly needed for biomedical and aerospace applications”, comments Jaco Saurwalt COO at Admatec. “We are constantly working to improve, not only with new hardware and material development, but also in functionality and productivity. Through software updates that aim at benefiting our existing customer base while improving the efficiency of the technology”, adds Jaco Saurwalt.

 “We are witnessing a gradual change in ceramic AM, from being used mostly as a research and development tool to an actual production method, especially for investment casting and aesthetic applications”, says Nadia Yaakoubi, business developer at Admatec.

Today, customers are given the choice to decide on which options they would like in their 3D printer. From customized build platform size that goes up to 160(x) x 100(y) x 400(z) mm to pixel size of projector to determine the printing quality desired, speed that goes up to 300 layers per hour and/or an add-on to print metal on the same 3D printer. The vision system will enable to integrate any of these options for the current Admaflex 130. However, the soon-to-released 3D printer will automatically integrate the vision-based process monitoring system.

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