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Engineering Materials
Aircraft Engine Maker Opens Additive Manufacturing Lab
4/29/2013

Arcam's A2X electron beam melting systems, typically used in aerospace applications, are featured in a new additive manufacturing center at the University of Connecticut funded by Pratt & Whitney.(Source: Arcam)
Arcam's A2X electron beam melting systems, typically used in aerospace applications, are featured in a new additive manufacturing center at the University of Connecticut funded by Pratt & Whitney.
(Source: Arcam)

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AnandY
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Traditional Manufacturing to AM
AnandY   4/29/2013 7:30:28 AM
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Aviation industries are shifting from traditional manufacturing to Additive Manufacturing. Genaral Electric have also shifted to AM. GE is preparing to produce a fuel nozzle for a new aircraft engine by printing the part with lasers rather than casting and welding the metal.

shehan
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Re: Traditional Manufacturing to AM
shehan   4/29/2013 12:04:04 PM
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@AnandY  - I knew that General Electronics was moving to Addictive Manufacturing. Do you see this as a reliable method especially for Aircraft Engines?

Debera Harward
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Re: Traditional Manufacturing to AM
Debera Harward   4/29/2013 7:36:59 PM
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Shehan you have raised a very good question , No doubt that additive manufacturing is the next booming technology but designing aircraft engine components will be risky with it

1.Type of metal created with this sort of manufacturing is still a question mark and will that metal be usefull enough to creat aircraft components

2.Secondly the material by this method is no doubt of  good quality but probably the surface will not  strong be smoothed will it be ok for crafts to fly ?

3.Will the manufacturing be strong enough to fly the palin in air ?

 

I have all these questions in my mind

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Traditional Manufacturing to AM
Ann R. Thryft   4/29/2013 12:33:23 PM
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AnandY, thanks for that detailed info on what GE Aviation is doing in its AM efforts.

As we mention in the article on the Lux Research 3D/AM report http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=262205 last fall GE Aviation acquired Morris Technologies http://www.geaviation.com/press/other/other_20121120.html, which was a 3D printing service bureau that produced mostly aerospace engine components.

Charles Murray
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Re: Traditional Manufacturing to AM
Charles Murray   4/29/2013 6:31:12 PM
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Aviation, with its relatively low production volumes, seems to be a logical place to apply this technology. I do find it interesting, however, that the parts still require a wire EDM process after the fact.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Traditional Manufacturing to AM
Ann R. Thryft   5/28/2013 11:38:42 AM
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Chuck, most AM techniques require some post-processing, especially if it's metal parts. But that's also true of other manufacturing techniques such as injection molding and welding.



naperlou
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Bringing critical technologies in-house
naperlou   4/29/2013 10:51:00 AM
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Ann, this is an interesting trend in and it is typical of new technologies.  It is also good to see it happening here.  As AnandaY points out, Pratt & Whitney's biggest competitor is also starting to use this technology.  Actually, GE is using a lot more ceramics and polymers in their engines, and that manufacturing is being brought in house as well. 

Perhaps, as with the semiconductor industry, this will become a more standardized technology in the future.  The trend in semiconductors is to seperate fabrication (fab) from design.  On the other hand, in the early days of the insustry, it was fab that was the compettitive advantage.  That is what allowed Intel to keep its lead for so long.  On the other hand, Intel is now getting into the foundry business.

notarboca
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Re: Bringing critical technologies in-house
notarboca   4/29/2013 8:41:04 PM
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@naperlou, you bring up good points about these technologies.  It may be a slow ramp up until these parts are common, everyday items in aviation, but I believe their time is coming.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Bringing critical technologies in-house
Ann R. Thryft   5/1/2013 12:16:25 PM
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Lou, I agree with notarboca. There are several issues that must be overcome, but eventually they most likely will be overcome.

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