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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About the PrintRite3D® QA Solutions

What solutions do you offer?

Our additive manufacturing in-process quality assurance system is called PrintRite3D®. The PrintRite3D system provides real-time melt pool monitoring and analytics to ensure in-situ quality assurance for additive manufacturing/3D metal printing. PrintRite3D uses multiple sensors, data acquisition and computing hardware, along with our proprietary software, for comprehensive quality management of AM processes. PrintRite3D allows the user to see, analyze and ensure the quality of the 3D-printed part while it’s being made. This saves time and money by reducing or even eliminating the need for destructive testing or inconsistent scanning of complex parts. PrintRite3D is available for use on laser powder bed fusion and directed energy deposition systems both as a third-party retrofit and a machine OEM integrated solution. Learn more about PrintRite3D.

How does PrintRite3D work?

Sigma Labs’ PrintRite3D® real-time melt pool analytics with Automated Anomaly Detection is a way to analyze the structure of a part and any variations in its creation when compared to specifications, while the part is being manufactured using additive technology. Our system identifies the thermal signatures of the melt pool (printed metal material) while the part is being manufactured. Our methodology detects and maps any flaws in real-time.  Learn more.

What’s the latest release of PrintRite3D?

Our latest release is PrintRite3D 7.0, which offers a substantial leap in the quality of the metal 3D printing industry while increasing overall manufacturing efficiency and improved economics. New features in PrintRite3D 7.0 include:

  • Calibrated Melt Pool Temperature Measurement
  • Melt Pool Cooling Rate Measurement
  • Recoater Interaction Detection
  • Machine Learning for detection of anomalies
  • Predictive Modeling for establishing the Digital Twin
  • Multi-laser Interaction Zone Integrity

Do you offer unique versions of PrintRite3D for different machine applications and printing operation types?

Yes. PrintRite3D for Laser Powder Bed Fusion Systems is available in three different versions.

  • PrintRite3D Lite: Intended for smaller, lower price, single laser machines. PR3D Lite comes with lower cost and basic process monitor features. Best for entry-level, dental, R&D type machines.
  • PrintRite3D Pro: For medium-sized and larger machines, dual or quad laser, serial production. Pro includes an advanced feature set for monitoring, analytics, data analysis, and a production dashboard. Suitable for a serial production level operation as well as research and development.
  • PrintRite3D Enterprise: For medium-sized and larger machines, dual or quad laser, serial production with 5+ machines, client-server architecture. This version includes all features and functions of PrintRIte3D Pro configured in a networked architecture with a central command and control center for multi-machine operations.

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Do you have a system for DED monitoring?

PrintRite3D IPQA® for DED Monitoring is available as a standalone system or as a retrofit for your current AM printer, including:

  • Melt pool intensity captured and monitored in real-time using multiple photodiode sensors integrated with the machine optics.
  • Proprietary algorithms convert raw data into engineering-based quality metrics to define melt pool quality.
  • Raw data is captured at 200KHz, product quality visualizations in 2D and 3D
  • Automatic anomaly alerts notifications, production status dashboard and SPC (statistical process control) quality trend charts.

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About Solution Benefits

What benefits do Sigma Labs customers receive?

The PrintRite3D system quickly discovers potential anomalies and incorporates machine learning in conjunction with developed metrics to map those metrics to the captured build data. This gives you the ability to achieve real-time defect detection, reduce post-production testing and costs, reduce risk, improve safety, and create a certification framework that serves the needs of end-users, printer manufacturers and standards organizations.

Can PrintRite3D help improve my 3D metal printing processes?

Yes. Improved part quality and overall manufacturing efficiency go hand-in-hand. With PrintRIte3D you will be building quality into the part, since it can’t be inspected into the part. PrintRite3D users can adjust the process in real-time to further assure quality and thereby gain confidence in their process consistency from one build to the next. They can compare each part to established baselines during the build, reducing post-process time and boosting process repeatability. Users will also see potential part anomalies and their locations and reduce the amount of costly CT scans required.

Can PrintRite3D help make my metal 3D printers more consistent?

PrintRite3D focuses on monitoring and analyzing the melt pool, and identifying certain anomalies that occur.  However, there are many influences in the quality of a melt pool, including gas flow, evacuation of soot, laser degradation, parameters, multi-laser coordination, etc.  Using PrintRite3D to understand the specific impact of these factors on the melt pool, and providing better control over them, will increase consistency between machines while boosting throughput and OEE.

Why would I consider a third-party agnostic solution like PrintRite3D instead of an OEM solution?

There is a potential conflict of interest when an OEM uses their own monitoring tool to validate the quality of their production equipment. By contrast, Sigma Labs is the leading third-party solution provider for unbiased in-situ monitoring. Unlike machine OEMs, in-process quality assurance is our passion and entire focus. PrintRite3D is the standard-bearer for real-time monitoring and analysis with traceability to NIST; providing capability, accuracy and analysis features far more advanced than OEMs offer. For multi-OEM installations or hybrid LPBF/DED installations, PrintRite3D is a cross-platform, cross-technology solution ensuring all your builds are evaluated consistently.

How can I evaluate PrintRite3D for my needs?

It’s important to understand exactly how PrintRite3D can find and interpret anomalies in YOUR specific parts.  The good news Is that we have a special program for that!  For a limited investment, we will build your part on our machine, collect the build data using PrintRite3D, and load the data to a secure location so you can experience the power of PrintRite3D first hand.  We will also assign an application engineer to help you acclimate to the software quickly so you can fully explore its features and tools. Interested? Contact us at info@sigmalabsinc.com to talk to a representative about getting started

About the Technology

Will PrintRite3D work in my current environment?

The PrintRite3D system is great for both heterogeneous (multiple printer manufacturers) and homogenous (single manufacturer) equipment environments. It is printer-agnostic and can be adapted as a third-party retrofit onto any manufacturer’s metal 3D printing machine. PrintRite3D is also available as an OEM license package to metal AM machine manufacturers.

Is PrintRite3D based on industry standards?

Yes. Our mission is to set the quality standard for real-time additive manufacturing and help accelerate the worldwide adoption of 3D metal printing. Sigma Labs works closely with international standards organizations, renowned universities, research organizations, advanced manufacturers, and leading design and simulation software companies.

Can I use my machine’s existing melt pool monitoring hardware for PrintRite3D?

PrintRite3D requires the collection of high-density spectral data from the melt pool to enable its advanced features and algorithms. It’s best to contact us at info@sigmalabsinc.com to discuss your specific monitoring and analysis needs for a final determination.

About Sigma Labs

Who is Sigma Labs?

Sigma Labs Inc. (NASDAQ: SGLB) is a leading provider of in-process quality assurance (IPQA®) software to the additive manufacturing industry. The company, based in Santa Fe New Mexico, was founded in 2010 by high-level scientists from the world-renowned Los Alamos National Labs. Sigma specializes in the development and commercialization of real-time monitoring solutions known as PrintRite3D® for 3D metal advanced manufacturing technologies. PrintRite3D detects and classifies defects and anomalies real-time during the manufacturing process, enabling significant cost-savings and production efficiencies.

What industries do you serve?

Every user of a laser powder bed 3D printing machine could potentially realize substantial benefits by using PrintRite3D In-Process Quality Assurance technology. And while Sigma Labs serves all industries that utilize additive manufacturing, we specialize in industries where the most expensive materials are used and a consistent standard and high quality of individual parts is mandatory. These industries include defense, aerospace, aviation, transportation, medical, oil & gas, power generation, and academia.

What do you mean by In-Process Quality Assurance?

In-Process Quality Assurance (IPQA®) is the terminology Sigma Labs uses to describe how we supply our end-user customers and OEM partners with real-time 3D metal print monitoring and non-destructive testing. This lowers the costs and improves the efficiency and economics of AM printing.  You can learn more about the many aspects of in-process quality assurance by viewing the videos on the Sigma Labs YouTube channel.

How are you different from other companies in the additive manufacturing industry?

We are different in a number of important ways. First of all, our entire focus is on quality. We do not provide AM design, printing or other common services. Our products provide independent quality assurance and are printer agnostic, meaning that we work with any OEM supplier. We started our journey towards AM quality assurance excellence much sooner than other companies. Our singular focus plus extensive technical experience makes us the leader in 3D metal in-process quality assurance (IPQA).

I’m a 3D metal printer manufacturer. How can you help my company?

Through our OEM and ISV partnership program, we can help you deliver even greater value and maximize ROI for your clients. By offering a proven 3rd party quality control solution, utilizing our embedded technology, you can differentiate your system from your competitors. You can not only maximize the return on investment for your clients, but also build confidence among your sales teams by offering the most advanced technology together with your own systems and services. As a Sigma Labs partner, you receive hardware, software, training, sales and marketing support.

Do you have educational resources available?

There are two great sources of online resources to help you improve your additive manufacturing quality and efficiency. The first is our Sigma Lab’s Resources Center, where you can find numerous whitepapers, executive briefs, case studies, articles, webinar replays, and more. Supplementary video assets can be found at Sigma Labs’ IPQA YouTube channel. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please send us an email at info@sigmalabsinc.com and we’ll be glad to help.

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