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Additive Manufacturing Inspection

Additive Manufacturing Inspection with 
Industrial CT X-Ray Technology

Additive Manufacturing can be low cost and fast, but it can also result in voids, misprints, residual powder, and other sub-surface defects if things don't go as planned. Industrial CT is a non-destructive method of inspecting your parts.


Our CT scan technology can image the interior features of additive parts, verifying AM parts are printed as designed and channels are clear of powder or FOD.  A highly utilized service is overlaying the CAD model with the CT scan of the part which identifies deviations both INTERNALLY and externally.

3D printed rocket chamber by i3D
Part-to-CAD Comparison

Haynes 282
Rocket Chamber

Affirm the as-built part matches the as-designed part.

After we CT scan the part, the CT scan model is imported into our analysis software and over-laid with the CAD model.


A color-coded 3D model is generated that shows discrepancies between the part and the CAD for both internal and external features.

This is a still image showing a Part-to-CAD analysis done using CT scan data that is imported into Volume Graphics software. The CAD model is pulled in and a heat map is generated that shows deviations.
Trapped Powder
Additive manufactured calibration block made of aluminum

Trapped Powder
Missed Print Layer
 in aluminum printed part

CT is used to inspect metal additively manufacturered parts for residual powder and internal features. Advanced analysis using Volume Graphics is used to quantify porosity and perform CAD-to-part comparisons.  X-ray technology is the surest way to understand your part.

CT scan post processed with Volume Graphics to show voids and residual trapped powder in the actual finished part.

Hidden volumes of this actual AM part are shown as surfaced elements.  Confirmation of as-built vs as-designed can be made.  

Aluminum printed part with voids and trapped powder, as shown in a CT scan using x-ray technology

CT Scan is virtually sliced, with trapped powder highlighted

Trapped powder is shown with false color, in 3D

CT Scan is virtually sliced, with missed print layer voids highlighted

Voiding is shown in false color, in 3D, in actual part

Cross section of powder trapped in an AM part using x-ray and CT scanning
Close-up of trapped powder in an aluminum printed part, as detected by x-ray and CT scan
Void in a printed layer of an aluminum part, as detected by x-ray CT scanning
This is an image of internal voids in a print layer of an Additive Manufactured part as found by CT scanning X-ray and post processing with Volume Graphics software.

Internal Part-to-CAD

Additive Manufactured

Chemical Reactor

Additive manufactured chemical reactor

Nominal-to-actual analysis and tolerance verification improves quality control and prevents costly defects. Color coded results allow us to quantify wall thickness for material as well as non-material channel blockages for gas or fluids.  X-ray technology via Computed Tomography, coupled with CAD allows Delphi to overlay the Part and CAD models. 

3D printed chemical reactor that has been CT scanned and the data overlaid with the CAD model showing deviations between the as-designed CAD and the as-print.d part.

Wall Thickness Analysis

Wall Thickness Analysis measures channel dimensions & color codes the walls based on thickness.

Additively manufactured chemical reactor that has been CT scanned. The CT data is then post processed for a wall thickness analsis using Volume Graphics software.
TI Medical Implant

Medical Implant Analysis

Additive Manufactured

Hip Cup

With Volume Graphics, we can run analysis on the CT scan data including:

  • determine tissue interface porous material ratios

  • demonstrate traditional mean-intercept method

  • determine strut thicknesses

  • determine pore sizes

  • Nominal/Actual analysis

Additivey manufactured hip cup with 4different porous structures
3D printed hip cup that has been CT scanned and digitally sectionedto for analysis
2-dimensional slice view from CT scan of a 3D printed hip cup
Strut thickness analysis on a 3D printed hip cup
Virtual slice of a 3D printed hip cup with pore size quantification
Part-to-CAD comparison of 3D printed hip cup showing deviations in a 3D model
Learn more about the use of CT scan technology in the Quality Magazine article: Industrial CT for Use in Additive Manufacturing Inspection 
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