Why 3D Printing is Suitable for Aerospace?

Why 3D Printing is Suitable for Aerospace?

Is Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) suitable technology for Aerospace industry?

Aerospace, the leading industry in innovation and technology advancement, continuously looks for ways to manufacture quality engines, parts and propellers efficiently and cost effectively.  So long as Additive Manufacturing keeps up with these standards, the Aerospace industries can benefit greatly from it. Of course, like every industry, saving money and material is essential but without tampering with the quality and genuineness of the material.

While traditional manufacturing methods are reliable and trustworthy, many 3D printing companies are making great strides to match these same standards in their machines to benefit big industries like aerospace, automotive and manufacturing. Machined materials such as aluminum, titanium and other metals can be substantially expensive and set aerospace industries back.  With additive manufacturing it’s cost effective for most materials, produces prototypes faster (mostly within a day) and the machine pays for itself in a number of prints.

Many aerospace industries are beginning to learn the benefits of 3D printing to make fast prototypes, plastic models for basic forms and fitting applications.

Newer Applications and Improved Materials

Changes in the additive manufacturing business are making it easier for Aerospace industries to get access to metal parts. With new waves of technologies more parts are being 3d printed in metals, it’s only a matter of time before this becomes finite and changes the production of aerospace.

“Changes the limitations set by conventional manufacturing.”

The best thing about 3D printing is it keeps getting better, whether it’s the durability of the parts or the materials themselves; it’s continuing to grow and make production easier on big industries. New materials need to qualify before they can be used in Aerospace, this could take several years, but these machines that print in metals are hitting the market (2017) and are 20X stronger than original additive materials (polymers and plastics).

Markforged is one of these companies that are making it easier for manufactures, aerospace and automotive industries and engineers to produce metal prototypes in over a day.  It’s still less time than traditional machining and at a fraction of the cost. These metal additive manufacturing machines will be able to print parts in tool steel, aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and contain properties like corrosion resistant, abrasion resistant, heat and chemical resistant – making them suitable for aerospace.

3d printer, print stronger, metal materials

Improvement process

The way the additive manufacturing process is improving will save on material costs as well as overall production costs.  Unfortunately the biggest downside for this industry and additive manufacturing is the limited build size, but the technology used increases the print size, improves the printing accuracy without human operation (prints by itself – using cloud based software and in processing scanning for precision).

Changing Airplanes

Even though, aerospace and additive manufacturing have little progress together, there is many benefits of additive manufacturing that will cut costs immensely, decrease production time and increase capabilities.  It will enable flexible production time planning and will require less energy and time management compared to traditional manufacturing operations. Including fewer expenses for raw materials, higher strength to weight properties for optimum functional parts, as a result will produce more energy efficient airplanes.



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