Many questions about 3D printed parts’ structural integrity, tolerance limits, layer defects, residual stress, material inclusions, etc., remain unanswered because AM process parameters and disruptions during the material layering (generally in powder form) may induce a variety of internal flaws and porosity (cracks or voids) in the final product. These might affect the performance of AM devices and create risks of potential failures, so the support of non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques for better assessment of AM parts is needed. The X-ray computed tomography (CT) inspection technologies show several advantages as a non-destructive method for acquiring structural characterization of both internal and external geometries of AM parts, and it might be the only available option to extract component dimensions of internal or hidden features that are inaccessible to well-established metrology tools. This makes the CT technology a good partner in the “3D printing revolution” for the study and inspection of AM products. Of course, the ability of defect detection by X-ray CT has a direct correlation with the size, complexity, and type of material of the part being analyzed, but in principle high scanning resolutions are possible, from millimeters to micrometers, and more recently nanometers. These topics will be discussed during this presentation, which additionally introduces current capabilities of X-ray CT for quality control of AM processes, its benefits for the assessment of structural integrity of AM parts, deviations typically encountered in AM dimensional geometry when compared to reference/nominal geometry, and prospects for optimization of AM design.
- Learn the main advantages of industrial X-ray computed tomography for inspection and quality control.
- Learn in which cases industrial X-ray computed tomography can be used for inspect and dimensional evaluation of 3D printed parts.
- Know when and how the X-ray computed tomography technology can be used for metrological inspection with quantifiable and accurate measurements.