Sigma Labs, Inc., known for its PrintRite3D quality assurance software, has become a member of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, England. As a part of the MTC, Sigma Labs will provide expertise and quality assurance solutions for a range of manufacturing projects and will collaborate with other members of the centre, which include some of the UK’s leading aerospace companies.
The Manufacturing Technology Centre was founded by the UK government as part of its national manufacturing strategy. It was established with the specific aim of bridging the divide between academia and industry, and bringing the two innovative fronts together for a shared purpose. The centre itself, which is equipped with state-of-the-art advanced and additive manufacturing systems available, develops solutions for customers across a range of sectors, including aerospace, automotive, construction, oil & gas and defense.
As a new member of the MTC, Sigma Labs will install its PrintRite3D INSPECT In-Process Quality Monitoring and Control technology at the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing. Additionally, the software company will take part in a number of member-sponsored programs, providing expertise on the qualification and certification of the 3D printing process.
“The MTC manufacturing research center model uses public and private funding to bring academia and industry together, to pursue challenging, industrially relevant development projects,” said John Rice, CEO of Sigma Labs. “As a member of the MTC, Sigma Labs will extend its industry footprint further into the exciting research and commercialization in additive manufacturing today.
“With Europe at the forefront of many innovative and major developments in the metal AM industry, we believe this agreement, our second major research alliance with a European center of excellence, holds great promise for us and the future of AM. We look forward to interacting with the other member companies in the MTC, and particularly to collaborating with researchers at the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing to demonstrate the capabilities and potential of the PrintRite3D INSPECT technology.”
In addition to Santa Fe-based Sigma Labs, MTC also has partnerships with Airbus, Stratasys, Materialise, EOS, Renishaw, GKN Aerospace, Autodesk and many, many others. The MTC also houses the European Space Agency’s (ESA) AM Benchmarking Centre (AMBC) and is a founding partner in the ASTM AM Centre of Excellence for promoting standardization across the industry.
MTC technology director Ken Young added: “I am delighted to welcome Sigma Labs to the MTC community. Quality assurance in additive manufacturing is a critical topic that requires significant attention. Gaining insights into the part quality during the additive manufacturing build process reduces effort for post-build inspection and ultimately provides the foundation for closed loop process control for improved robustness. Sigma Labs’ advanced capabilities on this topic will provide expertise for a number of the MTC’s projects and network with our membership base, focusing on qualification and certification of the additive manufacturing process.”
Sigma Labs was recently granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its PrintRite3D software solution. The patent in question covers a system of sensors configured to measure optical emissions generated by a scanning heat source during the 3D printing process and to analyze the data collected.