May 2019 Issue Explores Additive Manufacturing for Production
The latest issue of Additive Manufacturing magazine showcases real AM production examples in the aerospace, defense and medical industries.
Is additive manufacturing (AM) ready for scale production? Three stories in the May 2019 issue of Additive Manufacturing suggest yes.
The cover story for instance explores how a structural component for the Boeing 787 has come to be made additively. Unlike many AM success stories, this part—the fitting for an access door latch—was not redesigned for 3D printing. Rather, Spirit AeroSystems is printing the original, machinable design. Why? The buy-to-fly ratio for this titanium part is actually much lower when it is printed to near-net shape before machining. In this case, production via additive manufacturing is the more cost-effective solution even for a part designed with machining in mind.
This issue also includes two other stories of AM for production: a shop that is moving into its first continuous flow job to be made via metal AM, and a medical manufacturer that is using Carbon’s Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) process as an alternative to injection molding.
Also in this issue:
- A profile of Meld Manufacturing, a company that offers a metal AM technology based on friction stir welding;
- Three ways mold builder Byrne Tool + Design has found to use polymer 3D printing to its advantage;
- The cost savings possible for medical manufacturer Aeschlup using biocompatible materials on Arburg’s Freeformer 3D printing platform;
- How Big Ass Fans uses 3D printing in prototyping to develop and customize its high-volume, low-speed industrial fans; and
- Essentium’s ability to achieve low part cost in production AM thanks in part to a linear motor platform inside its fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing platform.
Boyce Technologies was already a leader in manufacturing communications devices, but 3D printing and a partnership with BigRep have helped it remain competitive—first through prototyping, and now in production.
If you are a medical professional in the U.S., you've likely heard that 3D printing can be an answer to equipment shortages. Here's how to find local 3D printing specialists and how to talk to them once you have.
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.