EOS has partnered with microscopy specialist Zeiss to develop ways to analyze 3D printing powder beds during and after additive manufacture (AM).

This involves using Zeiss technology to capture images and possible defects on each layer of the print by combining “four illumination directions”, the companies say.

This could allow faulty jobs to be stopped early, saving machine time and improving material usage. Powder shortages can also be corrected if they are detected using a communication interface which enables automatic recoating on the build plate.

Plans are for Zeiss AM in-process technology to be integrated into EOS’s M 290 direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) systems.

According to Mirco Schöpf, product line manager Software at EOS, automated analysis of the powder bed quality and the ability to identify defects more quickly could lead to cost savings of up to €10,000 per build job.