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  1. #1

    The Future or the Present of Aerospace Mfg. 3D printing?

    What do the people on this forum know about this? What type and material detail parts can be manufactured economically in this fashion? I am an expert aerospace quality inspector who isn't resting on his laurals and needs to stay ahead.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    well given that aeroplanes are a low volume product. 3d printing is ideal for many components.

    Off the top of my head I can recall Parts for seats in plastics on up to large metal components for both engines and wings being printed with one form of 3d printing or another.

    If you search the artilcles on 3dprint.com you should find quite a few articles on it in the last year or 2.

  3. #3
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    3dprinting out of almost any material is used regularly in that industry.


    Very, very complex steel, stainless steel, or even titanium components with insane geometry can be made, and even machined internally using laser deposition 3d welders. Some very unique, custom alloys can be mixed during the process as well using different metal powders.

    Same goes for plastics, though the custom compounds are usually not mixed by those operating the printer.

    Economically of course is subjective, and would depend on the budget and application.

  4. #4
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    I've seen some air manifolds made with 3D printing in plastic that would have been a lot more expensive to produce in small quantities conventionally.

  5. #5
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    For plastic or steel?

    Didn't Nasa claimed to have sucessfully print fuel injector for the combustion chamber for shuttle program?

    That being said, they still struggle with DMLS or SLA, the local cristalline structure is inconsistent. For instance you have the laser sintering manage to melt through 5 underlayer, which makes the material properties inconsistent. Yet, the material has to be known since they use a very tight safety factor. At least, that's what I recalled from the Turbo Expo 2015.

    Other than that they can print inconel if that interest you.

  6. #6
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    You can 3D print anything that melts.

  7. #7
    Engineer-in-Training
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    And if you have a lot of money to spend:


  8. #8
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    It is a famous 3D printing story where GE produced titanium fuel injection nozzles for a turbofan engine. 3D printing allowed it to be constructed 25 percent lighter and in a single piece instead of an assembly of 18 parts, making a 5 times more durable part. It is also used in some automotive applications to make for lightweight pieces. You will need to make a detailed analysis in order to see whether the increased manufacturing cost weighs up against the benefits of the part geometry, durability and reduced labor time. I definitely see a big future in aeroplane manufacture for 3D printing. Airbus does a lot of research into this: http://www.airbusgroup.com/int/en/story-overview/Pioneering-bionic-3D-printing.html

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nauthst View Post
    What do the people on this forum know about this? What type and material detail parts can be manufactured economically in this fashion? I am an expert aerospace quality inspector who isn't resting on his laurals and needs to stay ahead.
    You can choose 3 material below:

    ABS filament is a type of filament that is used in most of the processes for making commonly used plastic products. They are delivered in air-tight packages which include desiccants.

    PLA
    is an environmentally friendly material made of corn and sugar cane; it generates almost no hazardous elements throughout printing. PLA has 70~89% strength of ABS. PLA can deform at a high temperature.

    TPU
    filament is the flexible materials and can be variously utilized. TPU is a resin of the polyurethane and It will be delivered in a vacuum-packed with a desiccant.

    Source: may in 3d

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by canho79 View Post
    You can choose 3 material below:

    ABS filament is a type of filament that is used in most of the processes for making commonly used plastic products. They are delivered in air-tight packages which include desiccants.

    PLA
    is an environmentally friendly material made of corn and sugar cane; it generates almost no hazardous elements throughout printing. PLA has 70~89% strength of ABS. PLA can deform at a high temperature.

    TPU
    filament is the flexible materials and can be variously utilized. TPU is a resin of the polyurethane and It will be delivered in a vacuum-packed with a desiccant.

    Source: may in 3d
    Boy is your information lacking and outdated.

    You can 3d print nearly any metal or polymer these days.

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