Design for Metrology in Additive Manufacturing
Designing for AM, in general, has its challenges. One challenge is ensuring that your designs will be measurable using X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT). Below, I briefly go over this and invite you to watch my presentation diving deeper into the subject.
With the rise of design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) awareness, more efficient and functional designs are being made taking advantage of additive manufacturing (AM) complexity. However, at the same time, since these designs are usually complex enough to not be manufactured using conventional manufacturing methods, they are also complex enough to not be measurable using conventional metrology tools.
Figure 1: Additive manufactured steel joints designed by Arup. All designed to carry the same load .
To tackle this challenge, a non-conventional metrology tool is usually used, X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT). While XCT still lacks standardisation and needs more research to better generate uncertainty statements, it is becoming more and more popular in the AM field.
Figure 2: Design in nTop (left), additive manufacturing in aluminium (middle), XCT and wall thickness analysis using VGStudio.
In my webinar available on-demand Tuesday, August 18, there will be a general introduction to metrology, where XCT fits in the scope of measurement tools, and finally, ways to design for metrology. In this case, design for metrology will mean taking in consideration XCT measurement limitations during the design phase, making sure that your important function related features are measurable using XCT.
 Mercuri, Valentina. (2018). Form and structural optimization: from beam modeling to 3D printing of reinforced concrete members.