Additive Manufactured Components Reach Jupiter
The Juno spacecraft that arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4 has now carried additive manufacturing farther than it has ever gone before. Among the spacecraft’s parts are components produced through electron beam melting, including the waveguide bracket seen in the photo sequence above.
Spirit AeroSystems recently began installing the Boeing 787’s first titanium structural component to be made through AM. The part is not critical but also not minor. I spoke with manufacturing leaders at Spirit about the meaning of the part and the way forward for additive in aircraft structures.
GE Additive’s Ehteshami says, “To make these parts the ordinary way, you typically need 10 to 15 suppliers, you have tolerances, you have nuts, bolts, welds and braces.” With additive, “all of that went away.” The helicopter project is a detail in a story worth knowing.
When your metal part is done 3D printing, you just pull it out of the machine and start using it, right? Not even close.