Jeremy Straub, Researcher, University of North Dakota
Quality assurance is a key area of need in Additive Manufacturing. Numerous examples of quality issues (or prospective quality issues) exist. In many cases, operator-generated work-arounds exist and are used to mitigate or resolve issues that may be widely known or limited to a particular field of use. This presentation takes a look at this challenge from several perspectives. First, it provides an overview of different currently used techniques. These include process-based techniques (e.g., assessing whether system parts are operating correctly), localized results-based techniques (e.g., making sure that the local printing area, etc. is being created correctly) and regional / global results-based techniques (e.g., assessing the quality of the object in-process or when completed). Second, a gap analysis of current techniques is provided, demonstrating where they may not be able to fully provide quality assurance. Finally, an overview of recent work in additive manufacturing quality assurance is provided. This overview focuses, in particular, on work that has been conducted in the last two years. The gap analysis is extended based on this overview and a discussion of pathways and timetables towards quality-controlled additive manufacturing is presented.