3D printing: Quality assurance with the digital triplet

20 July 2021 | Industrial Services: How can the quality of metallic 3D prints be verified without damaging the product?

Hamburg: How can the quality of metallic 3D prints be verified without damaging the product? TÜV NORD and Additive Marking now offer digital blueprints for accompanying production samples that are printed along with the product and then destructively tested to determine the material characteristics.

Spare parts for industrial applications are increasingly no longer mass-produced, but manufactured on demand using 3D printing. However, the additively manufactured components must be designed for this purpose so that they can safely and reliably withstand the required loads – especially in safety-critical applications, for example in automotive engineering, aviation or for medical purposes. This requires precise statements about the stresses that can be borne by the material. However, it is often difficult, especially for small and medium-sized 3D printing service providers, to prove the material properties achieved in production to clients and customers without great effort.

A new cooperation between TÜV NORD and Additive Marking, a start-up for the traceable marking of 3D-printed components, now provides the solution: Via the web shop iam-approved.com, 3D printing service providers can obtain individually marked production test specimens for determining material properties in in STL file format. The test specimen files are configured ready for printing and are simply added to the production run to be tested. After production, the accompanying samples are sent directly to TÜV NORD for testing.

The TÜV NORD Institute for Material Testing determines the material characteristics according to internationally accepted standards, for example via tensile tests according to DIN EN ISO 6892-1 or notched bar impact tests according to DIN EN ISO 148-1, and provides the results in digital form. 

"The decisive advantage is the automated and unambiguous marking of the samples at the moment of their creation. With the serialised and clearly traceable production accompanying samples, the otherwise time-consuming and error-prone manual labelling effort is completely eliminated, both for the 3D printing service provider and later in the test laboratory," explains Jens Groffmann, Project Manager Additive Manufacturing at TÜV NORD.

In the future, further specific testing services for additive manufacturing will follow via the joint TÜV NORD and Additive Marking webshop iam-approved.com.


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