Phase3D, in Partnership with 1000Kelvin, Awarded Phase I STTR Contract from the US Air Force — Real-Time Anomaly Detection to Optimizing Laser Pathing

Phase3D Media
2 min readApr 28, 2023

The additive manufacturing (AM) industry is desperate for real-time part certification and qualification to prove that parts produced using the technology are viable for critical scenarios (e.g., flight, implants, and energy production). Project Fringe, our in-situ inspection technology, currently measures anomalies in powder-based AM. The AM industry has a need for fast corrections using objective data that is readily available to save parts before they are defective.

Project Fringe in-situ inspection technology creates height maps of powder and melted layers using structured light. This provides a rich data set of objective data.

The awarded AFWERX STTR Phase I grant from the US Air Force will showcase the feasibility of closed-loop optimization for laser pathing based on in-situ inspection from Project Fringe. The goal is to advance our technology by adding AMAIZE, the the AI based scan path analyzer and optimizer from 1000Kelvin. By combining Project Fringe in-situ inspection with the corrective algorithms of 1000Kelvin, a future joint product would be able to inspect each layer of the part and correct for defects on the fly.

Through the collaboration of Phase3D and 1000Kelvin, laser scan path optimization will correct defects during the build using in-situ data collected by Project Fringe.

The benefits of this collaboration and integration are significant for AM to reach production levels in highly regulated industries. The primary focus for the project is benefiting AM service bureaus and in-house production facilities focused on aerospace parts. These customers have identified that lost part lead time due to part failure is their primary pain for adopting AM. Project Fringe may be able to improve production output by 30% through the reduction of part lead time and reduce per-part cost by 25%.

The collaboration, development, validation research funded by AFWERX will serve three distinct customer segments, including the aerospace industry, industrial metal AM original equipment manufacturers, and research laboratories. The potential for early-stage part defect detection and correction using Project Fringe and AMAIZE offers an enormous opportunity to reduce waste and increase production efficiency across industrial sectors.