Tag Archives: Aerospace

Emirates VP: Everything in the cabin should be 3D printed

Emirates has for the first time used cutting-edge 3D printing technology to manufacture components for its aircraft cabins.

The airline used Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a new 3D printing technique to produce video monitor shrouds.

Emirates has worked with 3D Systems, a US based 3D printing equipment and material manufacturer and services provider, and with UUDS, a European aviation Engineering and Certification Office and Services Provider based in France, to successfully print the first batch of 3D printed video monitor shrouds using 3D Systems’ Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology platform.

The airline has also 3D printed, received certification for and installed aircraft cabin air vent grills for on-board trials in its first class cabins.

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Boeing talks 3D printing for aerospace

A part 3Dprinted by Norsk Titanium for Boeing. (Image courtesy of Norsk.)On the ground floor of 3D printing technology for years, aerospace manufacturers first began adopting the various additive manufacturing (AM) processes for use in prototyping. With each advance in the technology, they have been there as AM was used for the creation of tooling to, most recently, the mass manufacturing of end parts.

GE increased its role in the industry dramatically when it acquired two metal 3D printer manufacturers and formed GE Additive. GE, however, isn’t the only aerospace company that’s taken AM to the skies. Also ahead of the pack is Boeing, which has been flying 3D-printed parts since 2003.

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3D printing enables “world’s first all-electric commuter plane” and “world’s fastest electric race car”

The Eviation Aircraft concept. Image via Eviation.North American 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys is supporting the development of the “world’s first all-electric commuter plane,” while Belgian 3D printing company Materialise has a key role in the development of an electric race car.

Based in Israel, Eviation Aircraft is racing to complete development of its ‘Alice Commuter’ to be the first all-electric commuter plane in the skies. To do so, the company has incorporated 3D printing to speed up development and reduce costs.

Constituting of Eindhoven University of Technology students, InMotion’s incentive to implement 3D printing is to reduce weight in all of its races. Using Materialise’s 3D printing services, InMotion has incorporated crucial metal parts in its IM/e racecar.

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Aerospace opportunities demand quick resolution to 3D printing issues

airplane in hangarThe aerospace industry has so fully embraced 3D printing that it will undoubtedly work to resolve any challenges.

If you fly in a plane in the next few years, you are statistically likely to be flying in one that contains 3D-printed parts, also known as parts made via additive manufacturing (AM). While Stratasys says 3D printing is great for interior parts, Airbus announced plans to 3D-print 30 tons of metal parts every month by 2018. Some of them will be the brackets and structural parts that hold the plane together. In fact, aerospace manufacturers are working 3D-printed parts into just about every facet of the plane, including engine parts.

General Electric (GE), for example, is planning to mass-produce 25,000 LEAP engine nozzles with 3D printing. According to a ReportsnReports study, “The Global Aerospace 3D Printing Market to Grow at 55.85% CAGR during the period 2016–2020,” the primary driver of 3D printing in the aerospace market is the miniaturization of jet engines. The more widely additive manufacturing is used, however, the more issues come to light—ranging from the price of powders and resins to potential supply-chain weaknesses. Yet the aerospace industry has so fully embraced 3D printing that it will undoubtedly support the resolution of such problems.

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Winning 3D print to enable the Internet of Space

Mouser Electronics Inc. and Grant Imahara have announced the winning design in the International Space Station (I.S.S.) Design Challenge has been 3D printed in space.

Andy Filo, an engineer based in Cupertino, designed the satellite-launching device that is now in orbit. It is hoped that eventually the 3D printed device for the testing and deployment of Femto Satellites for the Internet of Space may be used by astronauts on missions.

The challenge set was to “help astronauts aboard the International Space Station with a device that improves their jobs or daily life.” As previously reported by 3D Printing Industry, Mouser Electronics Inc are frequent sponsors of such challenges. The satellite-launching device was 3D printed using Made In Space’s Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), who recently told us more about how 3D printing is advancing the space industry.

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Boeing turns to 3D-printed parts to save millions on its 787 Dreamliner

The aerospace industry has quickly found the utility in 3D printing items, both in reducing the cost of making parts themselves and in the cost reduction of operating aircraft with 3D printed parts, through the reductions in emissions and fuel use by having optimized designs.  With Boeing now using the technology in its Dreamliner, we can safely say that 3D printing is no longer just for prototyping, and is part of the manufacturing mix!


The move will reduce production costs for each Dreamliner by $2M to $3M

3D printed aircraft partsBoeing will begin using at least four 3D-printed titanium parts to construct its 787 Dreamliner aircraft and may some day rely on as many as 1,000 parts created via  additive manufacturing.

Boeing has hired Oslo, Norway-based Norsk Titanium AS to print the parts. It marks the first time that FAA-approved, 3D-printed titanium parts will be used as structural components on a commercial aircraft, according to the company.

The parts will be used near the rear of the Dreamliner, a mid-sized, wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner. Boeing builds about 144 Dreamliners each year.

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Impact Of 3D printing could grow in Auto, Aircraft sectors

Flexibility and autonomy are strong values to prioritize for the future of the supply chain, and 3D printing could bring both of those with it, since it offers solutions for prototype testing. Let’s examine some of the news stories surrounding 3D printing and see how the business could unfold from here.

Car manufacturing: BMW

Impact Of 3D Printing Could Grow In Auto, Aircraft SectorFirst of all, it may be increasingly important to look to different types of materials for 3D objects in the future. According to CNET, BMW is taking steps to possibly develop a strategy for metal 3D printing, which could create parts for testing that mimic the real thing more closely than similar prototypes made out of plastic. The process would do this by fusing tiny metal grains together to form a coherent material.

 

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Lockheed Martin looks to catch up in 3D Printing

With all of its accomplishments – including world’s largest defense contractor, and a presence in all 50 states and 70 countries – you might think Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD) would already have mastered additive manufacturing.

Lockheed Martin’s Robert Ghobrial coined the phrase, “The 5Ps of Additive Manufacturing™,” a manufacturing model that describes how AM can help aerospace, defense and other businesses. But like manufacturers around the world, some of Lockheed’s experts are struggling to answer questions posed by 3D printing, according to Robert Ghobrial, additive manufacturing lead for the company’s training and simulation location in Orlando, FL.

“Should we invest in the technology today or wait until it’s faster and cheaper?” Ghobrial has asked himself. “Should we have a centralized or localized printing model?”

Ghobrial spoke at SME’s “Additive Manufacturing Applications: Innovations for Growth” seminar in October, at advanced energy technology accelerator NextEnergy, in Detroit.

He traced his work with 3D printing back to 2012, when his team received some MakerBot printers that largely went unused. Even as recently as 2014, he was mostly making trinkets from the Thingiverse digital design company, Ghobrial said.

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3D printing in the aviation industry

Aero engineers are turning to additive manufacturing for fast production and better product design. What will this mean for traditional aircraft?

At the 2016 Berlin air show in June, Airbus unveiled the first ever aircraft to be made using 3D printing. With a name derived from the phrase ‘Testing High-tech Objectives in Reality’, Thor weighs in at just 21kg and measures less than four metres in length. To observers, it resembles a large model aeroplane and was easily dwarfed by the other aircraft on show. But Airbus sees it as a testbed for a radical change in the way aircraft are built. Whereas traditional production methods such as milling involve manipulating a solid block of material, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, ‘grows’ products by building up materials layer by layer. Taking this incremental approach, rather than using a solid block of material, allows for the creation of products with incredibly complex structures that would be very difficult to achieve, or in some cases impossible, using traditional methods.

An A380Thor is not the only example of Airbus’s recent 3D-printed innovations – the company has also used 3D printing to attempt to replicate structures found in nature, and so create parts that are stronger yet lighter than is possible with traditional machining and assembly. “Nature has developed a lot of different design methods,” says Peter Sander, head of emerging technologies and concepts at Airbus.

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3D printed parts help end U.S. dependence on Russian rockets

A company working to end American dependency on Russian rockets used 3D printing to prototype its latest development.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s high-thrust AR1 booster engine can be used for heavy launch vehicles such as the Atlas V. It was commissioned by the Air Force to replace the RD-180, which is built in Russia and used on the Atlas V.

The same company that built the RS-25 engines for the space shuttle, Aerojet Rocketdyne proposed the AR1 to the U.S. government in 2014, arguing that it could be produced in the United States relatively inexpensively. The booster generates an impressive 500,000 pounds-force of thrust at sea level and runs on liquid-oxygen propellants and an oxygen-rich staged combustion kerosene engine.

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