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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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Great article
Cadman-LT   10/15/2012 6:56:27 PM
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Another great article Ann. I like all of the new 3D methods and especially all of the new materials. It just keeps getting cooler!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D printing in the field
Ann R. Thryft   10/15/2012 1:04:44 PM
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I agree--the fact that 3D printing, in all its variety, is now on the radar of so many people and organizations bodes well, as does the spread of machines, and more and more materials, across the different market segments.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: 3D printing in the field
Beth Stackpole   10/15/2012 12:53:13 PM
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Seems like the dual forces of interest from the DoD and the commercial business sector could do a lot to advance the cause of 3D printing and additive manufacturing well beyond where it is today. Couple that with all the activity on the consumer front and you've got the real makings of a market.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3D printing in the field
Ann R. Thryft   10/15/2012 12:06:50 PM
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Thanks, Beth. The DoD's desire to make 3D printing accessible and useful for soldiers is apparently one of the main forces behind the formation of NAMII, the additive manufacturing initiative/consortium we covered: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=251513

Beth Stackpole
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3D printing in the field
Beth Stackpole   10/15/2012 7:57:48 AM
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Nice indepth account of how 3D printing is really changing the game when it comes to creating production parts from a wide variety of materials and in a much shorter time span. Beyond the implications in the aerospace applications you mentioned, Ann, the experimentation going on to use less expensive and more portable 3D printers in army applications, in the field, as a means of helping troops with extra parts they need or more significantly medical care is really exciting.

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