The Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) (Institute for Integrated Production Hanover) is currently working on Quali3D , an automatic monitoring and fault detection system for 3D printing equipment. For components with the highest requirements in terms of precision, manufacturing industry mostly has to rely on a retrospective x-ray process to assess quality: honeycomb structures inside components, which achieve a balance between reduced weight and high stability, are particularly susceptible to invisible spaces and other irregularities.
From 2021, quality control should become automatic and more efficient with a camera which takes images of the individual printed layers. The rest of the work will be carried out by an algorithm that detects irregularities by means of textural analysis. Scientists are also planning to read machine data regarding, for example, the quantity of material applied in order to draw conclusions and finally to make automatic comparisons between the planned and produced component. In metal-based 3D printing , process monitoring of this sort is already possible.