Additive manufacturing has made an outsized impact on aerospace manufacturing in a short amount of time. In this episode, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering, talks with Sean Henson, Global Product Manager, Composites & Additive Manufacturing for Ascent Aerospace, about the growing role of additive in the industry; the investments Ascent has made in AM in recent years; the kinds of tooling Ascent provides customers through its large-scale LSAM printer, and design considerations for manufacturers when they use large-format AM.
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John Rice, president, CEO and director of Sigma Labs Inc., discusses aerospace's adoption of 3D printing in an interview with SME Media.
Aerospace was an early, and enthusiastic, adopter of additive manufacturing. The technology has been used to make brackets inside of aircraft.
With today’s focus on lightweighting, hollow parts made from composite materials, such as ducting, fuel tanks, mandrels, and rocket shrouds, are in higher demand than ever before. The composite ducting market in the aerospace and defense sector alone is expected to reach $864.7 million by 2024, according to a recent report from Stratview Research.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is now using 3D printing from Stratasys to manufacture flight-ready parts for several of its military, civil and business aircraft—while producing specific ground-running equipment at a lower cost than aluminum alternatives.
My first experience with additive manufacturing was 10 years ago when I managed a project to develop a 3D-printed, remotely piloted aircraft. Within this program, a 3D-printed parts producer, that mainly printed prototypes at the time, collaborated with a university and an aerospace systems manufacturer.
Additive manufacturing, and AM machines, have gone mainstream over the past five years. The technology has advanced. More materials, including metals and composites, are being used for 3D printing, where parts are made from a digital design.
The world of additive manufacturing (AM), commonly referred to as 3D printing, is quickly changing. The technology allows companies to manufacture products faster, with greater variation, and often with entirely new forms and functions.
My involvement in SME and its AeroDef event began in 2014, when I first presented an Adaptive Machining Overview at AeroDef 2014 in Long Beach, Calif. At the time, the conference was relatively small in terms of attendees and exhibitors in comparison to the explosion of other engineering conferences that began around that time.
Aerospace is an incredibly exacting industry. Everything from design to manufacturing to maintenance must go exactly as planned to keep planes flying safely, and even when they do, mistakes can happen, leading to tragedy.