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Additive Manufacturing Is Reshaping Aviation

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posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 06:32 PM
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Additive Manufacturing Is Reshaping Aviation

Any time you use a laser or electron beam to make airplane parts it's cool in my book.

It's all about the SWAP-C.




The aviation company Pratt & Whitney is exploring whether technology known as additive manufacturing could be used to develop more compact jet engines that could make commercial airplanes lighter and more fuel efficient.+

Pratt & Whitney already uses two additive manufacturing techniques to make some engine components. Instead of casting metal in a mold, the methods involve forming solid objects by partially melting a metal powder with either a laser or an electron beam. Other aircraft makers use similar technology; GE, for example, creates fuel nozzles for jet engines using its own additive manufacturing techniques (see “Breakthrough Technologies 2013: Additive Manufacturing”).+

The methods being used by GE and Pratt & Whitney are more complex and sophisticated than desktop 3-D printing, which involves creating objects by depositing ultrathin layers of material successively (see “The Difference Between Makers and Manufacturers”).+

Additive manufacturing processes can reduce waste, speed up production, and enable designs that might not be feasible with conventional production processes. The novel shapes and unusual material properties the technology makes possible—such as propeller blades optimized for strength at one end and flexibility at the other—could change the way airplanes are designed.




posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 07:22 PM
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great stuff!thanks for posting.....
I have been contemplating just where 3d printing is going....and this speaks well for the concept...(though differences exist)
When they 3d printed a Colt 45 government model pistol completely, that caught my attention....this is even better....
printed houses are also coming on stream....here and in China as well....
Id say the whole slant on manufacturing will produce a society with a whole lot of free time sooner than later......



posted on Feb, 6 2015 @ 08:27 PM
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CMC and additive manufacturing are going to revolutionize air travel.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 01:25 AM
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Not only with new parts



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 08:43 AM
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a reply to: grey580


Ummm...I was just talking about something like this yesterday with my brother...we were discussing replicators and trying to figure out how printing atomized metal powders would work...we talked about negative ion charges and magnetism and what would be the best way to cause the molecules to bond...
We discussed different methods for heating post nozzle...yet didn't get around to lasers and electron beams...

Simply amazing...




YouSir



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: YouSir

Yeah laser sintering is very cool





posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:54 AM
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And here's another vid on how they make tooling for injection molding.




posted on Feb, 8 2015 @ 05:40 PM
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They have already 3D printed about a dozen different designs in space already.



posted on Feb, 8 2015 @ 10:59 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
CMC and additive manufacturing are going to revolutionize air travel.

By CMC do you mean ceramic metallic composites? Its been more than 20 years since the first commercial CMC hit the market and it has not produced the desired results. They work well in narrow applications, where the balance between mechanical properties , toooling costs and manufacturing time differentials, work in their favor.
Additive Mfg has also had a long rocky road to development, it first showed up as a cost effective alternative to manufacturing large sheet metal forming dies for the auto industry.
The old way of doing it would require huge blocks of prehardend did steels to be machined into shape. This process could take 6 months to produce a single die set.
Additive manufacturing does work just like most rapid prototyping machines(3d printers),
in that a digital model is used to define a series of traces with which to define the object.
Instead of uv or laser light hardening a polymer, a laser or electron beam heats metal powders to melting temps, and impinges the vapor on the previously deposited surface.
I saw my first sample of this tech nearly 15 years ago. It was what appeared to solid tool steel bar 2" in Dia., when sectioned it was actually hollow with a spiral fluted inner structure of bronze. It was very impressive.
But , metal strength depends on grain structure and that structure cam be both temp/time
dependant and or physical structure dependant.
A part made from a physical vapor deposited material will never the same mechanical properties as a forged and quenched and tempered or otherwise heat treated part. And another thing you can remove metal way faster than you can add it on.

But I can see it has uses in specific applications.



posted on Feb, 8 2015 @ 11:55 PM
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a reply to: grey580

The new 3D printing is neat stuff. It has graduated from simple plastic solids to be able to produce a lot more complicated things. Laser sintering is by far the coolest of the applications IMO because it's not limited to thermoplastic polymers. You can use metals which itself has incredible applications, but you can also mix powders and create very precise alloys which is invaluable in aerospace where absolute knowledge of what is going into your part is a must-have.

Another fun application is that the powder helps bridge a gap that existed in previous 3D printing where a part could not be made with overhangs. With powder sintering the spare powder itself helps support the structure of the part as it's being built which takes a lot of the restrictions off. It also eases the restrictions on engineers who previously were forced to design only parts which could be made on multi-axis milling machines. Back in the day I got to see a 5-axis CNC milling out a centrifugal compressor rotor that was enormously complex. The amount of visualization that it must have taken the engineer to know that such a thing was possible with a cutting tool mounted on a stick is staggering. That restriction no longer being in place will both make their jobs easier, and it will allow them to access ever higher levels of design optimization.



posted on Feb, 9 2015 @ 02:36 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

CMCs are just hitting aircraft engine manufacturing. They have been used in other industries, but the first engine mounted CMCs are just entering testing.



posted on Feb, 9 2015 @ 03:32 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

I saw my first sample of this tech nearly 15 years ago. It was what appeared to solid tool steel bar 2" in Dia., when sectioned it was actually hollow with a spiral fluted inner structure of bronze. It was very impressive.
But , metal strength depends on grain structure and that structure cam be both temp/time
dependant and or physical structure dependant.
A part made from a physical vapor deposited material will never the same mechanical properties as a forged and quenched and tempered or otherwise heat treated part. And another thing you can remove metal way faster than you can add it on.

But I can see it has uses in specific applications.

I totally agree with you on your points punkin. I have watched both 3D printing and CMC (they used to be called Cermet's) technology for nearly 25 years. Both have made big promises with claims that by now we would all have 3D printers at home and CMC's would be widespread in automotive as well as civil engineering. Just like all those bold 60's space claims, reality has been slower to catch up. My father began in engineering, my grandfather was a welder and Im an engineer myself so I have plenty of scope when it comes to dealing with metal manufacturing and its use. Like you I firmly believe that 3D printing has a big future but probably not in the way some people have dreamed, same goes for CMC's although here I think there is actually greater potential use to their potential for increased performance in strength, weight reduction, and hybrid mechanical properties. Do I see a future where we all have cheap high fidelity multi material 3D printers? In theory probably yes. Will big business be happy with us taking the manufacturing out of their hands and how much of something we choose to buy? Not at least at first for a couple of decades until they wake up and change their business models.

It will take another Apple, ebay, Amazon or Google to convince themselves as well as us that there is a better way to get goods and ideas to consumers.

LEE.



posted on Feb, 9 2015 @ 01:00 PM
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a reply to: thebozeian

In my neck of the woods, makerbot has a brick and mortar store in one of the posh shopping areas, with a showroom, demonstrations, etc about what their ~$1000 machines can do.

I'm as wary as anyone else about some of the wild claims from the 3D-printer folks about what they mean in the future, but damn if the consumer-level 3D printer market right now are starting to look more and more like the state of the personal computer industry circa 1976 or so.

That Apple, Google, or Amazon that you speak of may already be here, still chugging along in its "Apple I" stage of evolution.

Me, I think the makerbot is a bit of a toy, but if I had the cash I'd snatch up a Formlabs Form 1+ in a heartbeat. Laser stereolithography for



posted on Feb, 9 2015 @ 01:15 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

The toys are getting better.

mashable.com...

This one will print the circuitry as well.



Eventually you'll just buy plans for what you want and you can make it at home.

A true replicator.



posted on Feb, 12 2015 @ 08:53 PM
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GE has successfully tested the first non-static CMC components in a jet engine. They used an F414 test engine, running it 500 cycles on the ground, with some of the low pressure turbine blades replaced with CMC blades, as well as other static parts. The test went towards validating CMCs for non-static portions of the engine. This goes towards the use of CMCs in the 6th generation AETD engines.

www.aviationanalysis.net...



posted on Feb, 13 2015 @ 02:54 AM
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I believe Space X have run 3D Printed Parts within their engines as well? en.wikipedia.org...



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