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Volume Graphics CT software update detects and corrects design flaws and manufacturability issues

Version update for data analysis software suite improves usability, speed and accuracy of non-destructive testing, analysis and geometry repair of parts from injection molding, casting or 3D printing.
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Manufacturing geometry correlation module.

Fig. 1. Manufacturing geometry correlation module. All photo credit: Volume Graphics

The latest version of Volume Graphics’ (Charlotte, N.C., U.S.) high-end industrial computed tomography (CT) data analysis software suite, version 3.5, brings enhanced capabilities to manufacturers looking for better ways to inspect parts and improve designs. According to the company, the non-destructive part evaluation software can interpret CT data from scans of almost any part and material.

Version 3.5 provides more powerful automated design-geometry
adjustment and repair tools that can be used to correct and/or offset issues
that stem from the manufacturing process itself, Volume Graphics says. Moldmakers, casting shops and additive manufacturing (AM) providers alike are said to be able to employ the software to detect and visualize material and/or design defects or distortions, and then employ sophisticated capabilities to correct their CAD designs, compare values against nominal limits and ensure that final part quality meets applicable industry standards.

The company highlights version 3.5’s completely reworked manufacturing geometry correction module (Fig. 1). This software module, says Volume Graphics, benefits all those who work with some kind of mold (i.e., injection molders or casters). Enhancements in usability, with continuous updating and feedback on quality, give the CAD designer valuable information that can be used to improve manufacturability. Filtering out points that can cause erroneous compensation results, the software is able to fine-tune surface fitting and provide compensations that are within tolerances, enabling the user to immediately see if their design changes are compatible with moldmaking.

Enhanced mesh compensation.

Fig 2. Enhanced mesh compensation.

Enhanced mesh compensation is another highlighted feature (Fig. 2). For those companies working in simulation and AM/3D printing, Volume Graphics notes that this module now provides easier navigation and understanding of the relationships between elements for better interpretation of part warpage, deformation and displacement, as well as automatically compensates designs to correct for such deviations from manufacturing intent. Mesh updating is said to be ten times faster, with improved results when scan and reference objects differ greatly in size or show other significant deviations. Further, there are a greater number of control points for more granular and accurate results.

In the case of lattice structures and other complex geometries, a uniform control-point placement function ensures full analysis of a design. The software can also shorten the 3D-print-and-test process by automatically running two sequential design-compensation results to move a design for AM closer to nominal before the first print.

The company also points to version 3.5’s new porosity and inclusion analysis of castings (Fig. 3). It’s noted that this is one of the most significant features in the version update: CT scans of cast parts can now be inspected for porosity and compliance with Reference Sheet P 203 of the Federation of German Foundry Industry (BDG). With the help of the BDG P 203 porosity key, users can reportedly perform a 3D evaluation of detected volume deficits both in the complete casting and in freely defined sub-areas, such as functional areas with special attributes. The software enables inspection of multiple, different regions of interest in a part to see if porosity is within tolerances and whether there are any post-machining issues in the finished part. The data from this analysis is then ready for Q-DAS process control.

New porosity and inclusion analysis of castings.

Fig. 3. New porosity and inclusion analysis of castings.

Other enhancements in version 3.5 strengthen existing functionalities that
support science, R&D medical device development and other industries in
addition to automotive, aerospace and defense. Among these, says Volume Graphics, is advanced reporting, which is now more user-friendly and fully integrated with viewing. The nominal/actual comparison module has also been made more user-friendly with easy-to-understand visualization of deviations of scanned objects from their reference data sets. A full list of all new developments for the CT data analysis software suite includes VGSTUDIO MAX, VGSTUDIO, VGMETROLOGY, VGinLINE and myVGL.

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