HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials
Biggest, Fastest Titanium 3D Printer
10/8/2012

Airbus, aerostructure manufacturer Aerosud, and the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, are partnering to develop the biggest, fastest 3D printer possible for making titanium aircraft and satellite components. Shown here, the Airbus A380 demonstrator aircraft arrives at the 2012 Farnborough International Airport.   (Source: Airbus)
Airbus, aerostructure manufacturer Aerosud, and the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, are partnering to develop the biggest, fastest 3D printer possible for making titanium aircraft and satellite components. Shown here, the Airbus A380 demonstrator aircraft arrives at the 2012 Farnborough International Airport.
(Source: Airbus)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Strength
naperlou   10/8/2012 10:48:16 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann, this is interesting news.  One question I would have is on the strength of the materials.  In general, machined materials are stronger than injection molded materials.  Of course, if the strength is enough for the purpose, then that is enough.  Then the speed of manufactur is all important.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Strength
Ann R. Thryft   10/8/2012 12:35:30 PM
NO RATINGS
Lou, the strength of the PM/sintered titanium powder metal parts produced by Dynamet has received approval from Boeing for use in structural aircraft parts, after a few years of testing. That news is pretty amazing on its own. The fact that Airbus has signed on to the Aeroswift aircraft structures project to help test selective laser-sintered titanium parts is another vote of confidence. It will be interesting to see what happens during that test phase.



Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Great article
Cadman-LT   10/8/2012 1:04:26 PM
NO RATINGS
Great article Ann. I always like learning about the new things they are doing with 3D printing. Titanium now, what's next? Keep the articles coming!

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Strength
Dave Palmer   10/8/2012 1:06:21 PM
NO RATINGS
@naperlou: Selective laser sintering typically doesn't yield a fully-dense part, so the mechanical properties would be significantly inferior to those of a forging.  On the other hand, it has been shown that selective laser sintering followed by hot isostatic pressing can give mechanical properties equivalent to conventionally-processed titanium.

It seems like a good move for South Africa to go from an exporter of raw materials to a manufacturer of high-tech components.  Other developing countries could benefit from this example.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Strength
Charles Murray   10/8/2012 6:33:13 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, do we know how big the printer is, or how big the parts can be?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Strength
Ann R. Thryft   10/9/2012 12:35:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, I looked all over for build volume and printer size with no luck. The only clue is that it's designed to build components of large aircraft structures. I'm guessing several feet per side of build volume. Very large 3D printers exist in architectural apps for use with sand and soil and their build volumes can be 2m x 2m x 5m up to 6m x 6m x 2m, and even larger in the works.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Strength and Size
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/9/2012 1:00:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann - thanks for offering the large size baths that are still being developed.  I had no idea that 3D makers were developing apparatus that large. 6 meters square-?  That's enormous. That's about 50 feet across diagonal; large enough to make a wingspan frame.  Wow.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Strength and Size
Ann R. Thryft   10/9/2012 2:05:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim, note that those huge build volumes are for building architecture apps, not for aircraft. We don't know the build volume of the Aeroswift machine.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Strength and Size
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   10/9/2012 6:38:18 PM
NO RATINGS
OK, noted;  do you know an example of the architectural Apps -?  I'm fuzzy on that, and wondering if it's a stretch between architectural and aeronautical ,,, ?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Strength and Size
Ann R. Thryft   10/10/2012 12:09:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Jim, the architectural apps are for buildings. If you google "3D printed buildings" you'll find several different versions. Unless you want to make airplanes out of sand and cement, there's no relationship in products. But figuring out to make larger build volumes is, to some extent, a generic 3D printing problem, which is why I mentioned the larger build volumes of the architectural apps.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team 100 to make (about $161 US).
A tiny humanoid robot has safely piloted a small plane all the way from cold start to takeoff, landing and coming to a full stop on the plane's designated runway. Yes, it happened in a pilot training simulation -- but the research team isn't far away from doing it in the real world.
Some in the US have welcomed 3D printing for boosting local economies and bringing some offshored manufacturing back onshore. Meanwhile, China is wielding its power of numbers, and its very different relationships between government, education, and industry, to kickstart a homegrown industry.
You can find out practically everything you need to know about engineering plastics as alternatives to other materials at the 2014 IAPD Plastics Expo. Admission is free for engineers, designers, specifiers, and OEMs, as well as students and faculty.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Nov 3 - 7, Engineering Principles behind Advanced User Interface Technologies
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service