Using Additive Manufacturing as a Pathway to Change the Qualification Paradigm
Additive Manufacturing (AM) offers the opportunity to transform design, manufacturing, and qualification with its unique capabilities. AM is a disruptive technology, allowing the capability to simultaneously create part and material while tightly controlling and monitoring the manufacturing process at the voxel level, with the inherent flexibility and agility in printing layer-by-layer. AM enables the possibility of measuring critical material and part parameters during manufacturing, thus changing the way we collect data, assess performance, and accept or qualify parts. It provides an opportunity to shift from the current iterative design-build-test qualification paradigm using traditional manufacturing processes to design-by-predictivity where requirements are addressed concurrently and rapidly. The new qualification paradigm driven by AM provides the opportunity to predict performance probabilistically, to optimally control the manufacturing process, and to implement accelerated cycles of learning. Exploiting these capabilities to realize a new uncertainty quantification-driven qualification that is rapid, flexible, and practical is the focus of this paper.