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3D printing reaches new heights in aerospace manufacturing

Author : Scott Sevcik, VP Aerospace Business Segment

31 July 2020

The importance of additive manufacturing (3D printing) continues to be recognised within the aerospace industry. This is largely due to the high-performance aerospace-grade materials that possess the properties required to deliver in an array of application areas, together with inherent capabilities that drive other efficiencies across the manufacturing supply chain.

Here, Scott Sevcik, VP Aerospace Business Segment at Stratasys, looks at some of the current trends and developments that highlight the technology’s ongoing ability to deliver opportunities for aerospace manufacturers and their suppliers.

The relationship between the aerospace and additive manufacturing (AM) industries is continually strengthening and evolving, with both sectors driven by innovation and change. AM, using lightweight materials, is able to produce complex geometries not possible with conventional production methods, as well as offering high levels of customisation. Therefore, it caters to the needs of aerospace manufacturers, who continually strive to achieve faster speeds and utilise complex part designs to increase efficiency. 

While AM is still viewed as a relatively young industry, both aerospace and aircraft interior OEMs have been leveraging the most common additive manufacturing technology, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), for the better part of 30 years for prototyping. Fast forward a few decades and today, the portfolio of FDM materials is expanding to meet the stringent requirements necessary to make interior aircraft parts flightworthy. The level of repeatability achievable by high-performance systems enables the production of parts with consistent performance. 

Read the full article in the August issue of DPA.

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