3-D printing has always had a challenge with product quality. How are the tolerances consistent? How is the surface’s finish? How much variation is there between different parts? Are they consistent? This has been a problem for a very long time and it's a difficult one to solve. Here at Slant 3-D, we have gone about trying to solve it by maintaining simplicity in the system and having as little variation as possible.
The other thing we do is work very closely with our clients. When a part is submitted to us, we have an interaction with the client. That client is assigned an account engineer. The engineer works with the client to establish specs for cosmetic appearance, specs for surface quality, consistency, tolerances, strength requirements of the parts, etc. They are doing this, to put together a quality control checklist. This ensures that each part that comes through can be inspected or a sample set of each batch that comes through can be inspected by our quality team.
We work with the client very closely to put together that list and then make sure that the parts that come out can fit the standards. The standard for a part can vary from client to client so it's very important for us to have that initial conversation. A client who's doing a giveaway for a trade show and only needs a few thousand pieces has very different needs from somebody doing a carbon fiber car part. After we have that conversation and create the checklist, we put it into our system. We have created our system to be simple enough and consistent enough so that we know what comes off of one machine is what comes off of our other machines as well.
At the very end of it, there is actually the inspection process. When doing production runs, our quality control technicians will go through and inspect individual parts. If it's small batches or sample parts out of larger batches or parts off of an individual machine to make sure that everything that is being produced is what needs to be produced and is up to that quality standard of the client.
Hopefully, that tells you a little bit about how Slant 3-D maintains the quality of the parts that we are producing within our 3-D printing farms.