Tony Fadell, co-inventor of the iPod and iPhone, gave the company some props saying, “When we were developing the iPod and the iPhone, we relied on X-ray computed tomography. At that time, we had to use external services to get these expensive scans and wait days for results. Even today, this essential tool is only accessible to giant companies. But that’s about to change quickly: Lumafield is putting these incredibly powerful tools on the workbenches of engineers around the world. »
Plus, Lumafield’s “powerful automated analysis engine that identifies voids, pores, and cracks before they turn into critical issues.” Desktop Metal would already be a user. For many 3D printed parts, quality assurance (QA) is problematic. So far, if it is to be critical, a CT step is necessary for quality assurance.
Only with CT can you truly ensure that your 3D printed metal part has no voids or cracks. It would be very useful to be able to scan every part coming out of a service desk in a cost effective manner. As a result, it would be possible to better manage QA issues earlier, even for non-critical components. A business can learn faster and discover a printing or post-processing error somewhere faster. This could really allow a business to master its existing processes much faster than otherwise possible.
So far, CT has been beyond the means of most service bureaus. Lumafield could change that by making CT accessible to smaller players and more coins. With Lumafield, one could perform more QA on more parts and do it at a lower cost. Now, of course, QA costs will increase due to increased parts management. So it may not make sense to everyone. However, in a market where individual parts can cost $3,000 and the economic impact of these components can far exceed that, this could be a big help for the 3D printing industry.
I said before that we have to do individual quality control for every 3D printed part we make. I am quite alone in having this opinion, but I will continue to repeat it nonetheless. We build each component differently with different orientation, toolpath, and waste heat, all on a different area of the build platform. Therefore, we should 3D digitize and scan every part we produce. Yes, I know it will be expensive, but each component is uniquely made.
We do not cut a known block of material with a tool. We build something in a totally different way. In order to make sure this article does what it should, we need to scan and scan this article. So far, this has been prohibitively expensive, aside from the aerospace, defense and medical markets. However, with an automated Lumafield package, this could become a reality.
Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s a startup, Joris. They will go fast and break things, namely me. They’ll put on their Growth Hacker hats, throw this stuff out the door, and we’ll all get cancer. In these very well done videos, they explain the safety of the device saying that they have passed the FDA requirements. They also say that “the machine has extensive lead shielding to block out stray X-rays.” The equipment also has a number of features that make the machine work only when the door is closed. I still remember when people used to photocopy their cigarette butts at office parties, so hope everyone uses this thing properly.