Optical microscopy is a cornerstone of metallurgical materials analysis. The advanced image processing capabilities of the Keyence VHX-5000 enable 3D reconstruction of the surface of AM parts, which can be used to compare the printed part to the original part design. When combined with metallurgical analysis, the library of 1D and 2D measurement tools can be used to quantify phases, voids and other structural features. Differential interference contrast and polarized light microscopy expose features in polished and etched metallurgical samples that reveal details about grain growth, microstructural evolution and compositional segregation in as-printed and solution-annealed Inconel 718.


  • 20–5000X magnification
  • Bright field and dark field lighting configuration
  • Polarized/cross-polarized lighting
  • Differential image contrast
  • 50 frame-per-second image processing to produce an infinite depth of field, even at high magnifications
  • 2D stitching to image large areas at high resolution
  • 3D stitching to measure height profiles across large areas
  • Semiautomated grain segmentation, grain shape and grain statistics
  • Profilometry measurements

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