Nikon subsidiary Morf3D joins the growing list of companies to receive the highly coveted Nadcap (formerly known as the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) certification for additive manufacturing (AM). The aerospace metal 3D printing firm has been ramping up AM in aerospace since 2013, but earning this new accreditation is required for any company hoping to work with the biggest players in the global aerospace industry.
Originally launched in 1990, Nadcap was created to avoid the costly and time-consuming need for individual assessments, which resulted in the same inspections being performed twice. Since then, this industry-managed program administered by the Performance Review Institute (PRI) has been devoted to improving the overall quality of a company’s manufacturing processes. Using a standardized approach, technical experts from prime contractors, suppliers, and government representatives work together to establish the necessary approval requirements.
Developing a Nadcap accreditation checklist for AM technologies in the aerospace industry has been a major step forward in the last few years. Nadcap has classified AM as a “special process,” meaning that so much more goes into building a part than just what is going on inside the chamber and intends to validate process controls, including maintenance, calibrations, machine qualification, and inspection addition, by. In addition, by standardizing materials and methods, they are helping the 3D printing industry increase adoption of the technology for producing functional parts in end-use applications.
“Achieving our Nadcap certification and becoming one of only 10 companies in the world to achieve this distinguished accreditation is a testament to Morf3D’s focus on quality,” said Morf3D CEO Ivan Madera. “It extends the importance of the work we do and allows us to continue taking additive manufacturing to new heights.”
As part of the Nadcap accreditation, the company also announced it now holds supplier voting members’ rights on the Nadcap task group and is the leader of the Additive Manufacturing Sub Team, which allows it to provide valuable input and contribute to the development of the program alongside the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Prime members.
Morf3D is not the only business awarded Nadcap certification for additive manufacturing. In 2017 premier provider of highly-engineered, mission-critical components, LAI International, became the first-ever Nadcap certified additive manufacturer globally. The Scottsdale, Arizona firm has grown its aerospace applications using 3D printing for years. It has acquired many AM technologies for its shop floor, including directed-energy deposition (DED), electron beam melting (EBM), and laser powder bed fusion machines. Yet, the Nadcap accreditation brought the firm full circle, helping it stand out above all those others that are not accredited.
Following LAI International’s footsteps, other companies also began the auditing process to get their respective Nadcap AM accreditations. Among them are Sintavia, BEAMIT, Burloak Technologies, Material Solutions, GF Additive (also known as the GF AMotion Center), Element Materials Technology, and Isostatic.
Accredited in 2020, Sintavia, a specialist in metal 3D printing technology, said at the time it was the only company with Nadcap approvals for laser additive manufacturing, electron beam melting, and in-house heat treatment. Similarly, Siemens business Material Solutions was the first UK 3D printing company to get the Nadcap accreditation. While metal AM service provider BEAMIT has been successfully audited by Nadcap PRI Task Group and gained a merit mention on welding and AM, taking the company straight into its first accreditation among top class organizations in the world.
Like its predecessors with Nadcap AM certification, Morf3D will now gain even more international recognition within the aerospace industry. The aerospace metal 3D printing firm recently launched new headquarters in Long Beach, California. The new 90,000 square foot space called Applied Digital Manufacturing Center (ADMC) will house 150 multi-discipline engineers, research staff, and technical teams.
The ADMC will also serve as a solid industrial base that ensures the continuity of Morf3D’s highest quality products and enhances the company’s technology edge, which enriches Morf3D’s partners and customer applications worldwide. Through these partnerships, Morf3D will support new developments and innovations to accelerate customer adoption and the overall industrialization of digital manufacturing. Moreover, the new Nadcap certification addition ensures quality for its customers, which will now be among Nadcap prime contractors, including big names like Aerojet Rocketdyne, Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems, General Electric, and Rolls Royce.
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