Metal injection molded components are used in the Eurofighter Typhoon as part of a strategy to reduce costs without compromising performance. A validation study on MIM was conducted by Pratt & Whiney and MTU Aero Engines of Germany with promising results. MIM components will be used in the EJ200 engine in the Eurofighter.. Blades and vanes in the turbine have usually been cast but MTU says the new MIM vanes combine the cost advantage of cast metal with the strength of forged metal. The MIM parts achieve 95% of the strength of forged parts. The power of the engine makes it a key combat aircraft for NATO forces,
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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