In the past decade, additive manufacturing technology has pushed the aerospace industry leaps and bounds in innovation. Applications such as advanced tooling and production have cemented the technology’s place in the industry as an engineering mainstay. Through 3D printing, a whole new generation of aerospace companies are able to validate new design ideas and solve design challenges cheaper than ever, and faster than ever before.
Ushering In The Next Generation Of Aviation
Design with Freedom
Explore new horizons as 3D printing gives the manufacturers the flexibility for easy and seamless design iteration and verification. Designs can be as complex or as simple as they need to be without the added costs.
Reduce the weight of aircraft parts and components by up to 60%. 3D printing enables engineers to design parts with intricate geometries that provide the durability of production-grade thermoplastics while being significantly lighter allowing aircrafts to consume less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide.
Supply Chain Consolidation
Minimize the number of suppliers and outsourcing needed as 3D printing brings the job in-house, saving costs and time.
3D printed aircraft parts are tested thoroughly and are run through numerous safety regulations approvals to ensure a standard of quality and reliability for use in the air.
Create 3D printed interior parts as manufacturers are able to differentiate the passenger experience with unique, low-volume elements that are customized to the end customer’s needs and styles.
3D printing technology allows for maximum design flexibility in production while requiring less energy and raw materials than traditional manufacturing processes. Parts and components can be produced as needed, saving valuable storage space.
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Trainer Development Flight (TDF) at Sheppard Air Force Base
Based in Texas, the Sheppard Air Force Base hosts a Trainer Development Flight (TDF) facility that designs, develops and manufacturers training aids and trainers for the United States Air Force and all branches of the Department of Defense. Printed parts are used in a variety of ways such as training environments, avionics, weapons and fuel systems, medical readiness, HVAC, and telecommunications systems.
With traditional methods, sacrificial tooling is produced as part of a multi-step process which can result in time-consuming and expensive production cycles. Composite materials have become increasingly important for manufacturing applications they are able to deliver high performance without the weight associated with metal materials.