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Engineering Materials
3D Printing Flies High
10/15/2012

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Paramount, a 3D Systems company, has made several non-structural flight hardware parts for Air Force fighter jets using its high-temperature laser sintering (HTLS) process. Shown here are a PEEK carbon fiber composite air duct (top), and technology demonstration parts (bottom) made of PEEK carbon fiber (black) and an unfilled PEEK (yellow).
Paramount, a 3D Systems company, has made several non-structural flight hardware parts for Air Force fighter jets using its high-temperature laser sintering (HTLS) process. Shown here are a PEEK carbon fiber composite air duct (top), and technology demonstration parts (bottom) made of PEEK carbon fiber (black) and an unfilled PEEK (yellow).

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Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   11/5/2012 1:08:12 PM
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Ann, I just wanted to say. I know I go on and on about this 3D printing, but it just fascinates me to no end. We talked just a few months ago about materials and they are already here. Like you said, it's progressing very fast. I'm just really interested in this.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   11/5/2012 1:03:51 PM
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That person would still need machining knowledge. At least knowledge of the measuring tools. I can see it as a trade school thing. Now instead of going for machining you go for 3D printing. I might be wrong, but it seems possible.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   11/5/2012 12:59:57 PM
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Then again, it should also create jobs. Instead of running a CNC lathe or mill, you run a 3D printer. It's a little weird to even think about.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   11/5/2012 12:55:33 PM
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I couldn't agree more. I'm a little worried for some machinists out there. I can see these printers taking their jobs. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   10/30/2012 7:53:12 PM
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I agree about tight tolerances. The fact that this technology is being used in commercial aircraft and medical applications speaks volumes about its success in achieving consistent, repeatable, very tight tolerances.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   10/18/2012 10:26:41 PM
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One more thought. One thing that comes to mind to me, being an ex-machinist is the precision i.e. tolerances they can hold. I am betting they get better at that. You can print something all day long with whatever material, but if you can't hold certain tolerances then it isn't good for precision work.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   10/18/2012 10:23:48 PM
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I really like the new materials. that's been my fascination with 3D printing thus far. The software advancements are good, but the materials determine what you can make. Wonder what's next?

Cadman-LT
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Re: Great article
Cadman-LT   10/18/2012 10:20:12 PM
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You are certainly welcome Ann. Keep'em comin'!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great article
Ann R. Thryft   10/16/2012 12:00:05 PM
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Thanks, Cadman, glad you enjoy my blogs on this subject. I agree, the rate of advances has really sped up lately.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: 3D printing in the field
Rob Spiegel   10/15/2012 11:24:06 PM
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Nice article, Ann. I didn't realize that 3D printing had moved so far beyond creating prototypes and into finished parts. Quite impressive.

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