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Inspection of Additive Manufactured Parts Using Computed Tomography: Part 2

Additive manufacturing (AM) offers new possibilities in manufacturing and designing products. The aerospace and automotive industries are main drivers because of the possibility of manufacturing lighter structures that reduce weight and save fuel. During the AM process, different discontinuities or defects can occur, depending on the applied technology. To ensure constant manufacturing quality of the parts, regular sampling or 100% inspection using nondestructive testing (NDT) methods is required. In particular, computed tomography (CT) allows a contactless investigation and includes different analysis techniques. As an advantage over other techniques, it can even evaluate parts that have a very complex inner structure. Part 1 of this article, which appeared in The NDT Technician, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Schulenburg and Herold 2020), provided an overview of the AM technology, particularly selective laser melting (SLM), and commonly occurring discontinuities along with their possible causes. In Part 2, we will provide an overview of the CT inspection setup and process, along with a case study showing some examples of the types of discontinuities that are found in AM parts.


ISO, 2017, EN ISO 15708-2: Non-destructive testing – Radiation methods for computed tomography – Part 2: Principles, Equipment and Samples, International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Kruth, J.P., 1991, “Material Incress Manufacturing by Rapid Prototyping Techniques,” CIRP Annals, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 603–614.

Schulenberg, L., and F. Herold, 2020, “Inspection of Additive Manufactured Parts Using Computed Tomography: Part 1,” The NDT Technician, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 1–5.


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